New & Improved

It's time, my friends! 

I've been working on getting the blog up to speed for quite some time now, ever since I was naive and wanted to become more involved in the bloggy world. 

Well, it's been going great and my blog is growing.  It's also become to mean much more to me than just words.  I know that sounds silly, but it's true!  This blog has grown into something very near and dear to my heart, and it's been a great outlet for so much more than it ever was.  

Now, this blog is an encouragement - if not to others, then to myself.  Not only do I pour my heart and soul into it, but the feedback is totally encouraging to myself.  I am forever grateful for anyone and everyone that lifts me up when I'm down, prays with me for those in need (newtown, boston, west, oklahoma), or just offers words of encouragement and love.  I truly cherish each and every comment from my readers, so for that, THANK YOU!  I've also gotten questions from non-bloggers that read my blog asking if they can leave questions even if they don't have a blog of their own.  The answer is YES!  Simply click 'comment' to say what you want to say, and then you can either post as anonymous or you can just put your name so I know who you are and who to thank!  

With all of that being said, I've spent a lot of time deep in thought and prayer lately on where to go from here.  What's next?  What changes need to be made in order to continue my growth?  
The answer was clear: change the title of this here blog.  

That's right!  It's time to let go of: My Life Would Suck Without Me.  Let's face it, I'm no longer in the phase of my life that I was when this blog began over 4 years ago.  Now, that title is really no longer appropriate.  It's time to grow, as I've grown. So, I'd like to welcome you to 

With this new title, my blog can grow as I grow.  I truly hope that this change only allows more participation and readers instead of losing them.  I promise you that I read and respond to every single comment by email, if it allows me to. 

I truly hope that you will continue to follow me (or for those newly following, begin and continue) on my journey through life.  It's not always rainbows and sunshine, but as Gary Allan so kindly reminds me: every storm runs out of rain.  

Life is so much more than the shortcomings and hardships.  It's about finding the silver lining during those times.  But it also allows us to vent during those not-so-great moments, and it also gives us blogspace to allow such venting ;).  So, I'm not promising that every post will be uplifting and positive, because I know that's not true.  I will have tough days, just like everyone else.  I will still be myself and that's really all I can promise you! :)  
So, sit back, grab a glass of wine if you please (or a can of beer, to each their own!) and stay a while as I venture down the staggered path of life and leave my own faithful footprints.  ♥
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{Murder & Cavemen} FFTL

This is my first time linking up with Halie over at Penguins, Pasta, & Polka Dots for the 'From Firsts to Lasts' (FFTL) link-up that happens every {tuesday}! 

First Things First

Usually, you talk about your first someting, BUT, new rules are in place, which means today (the last Tuesday of the month, and my first time to link up [ha!]) we talk about a few lasts.  If you're totally and utterly confused, go check out the rules!

So, here we go! 

Today's LASTS topics are:
Last book you read
Last movie you saw in a theater

Last Book I Read
I was really, really hoping I was going to be able to talk about the book I'm currently reading, but I didn't get as much time to read this past weekend as I had hoped.  So, that means I will talk a little bit about Walter Walker's Crime of Privilege.  It was our book club's BOTM (book of the month) last month and was a FREE galley offer by Randomhouse Publishing, so we decided to give it a go!  Here's my review via Goodreads

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed most of this book. It definitely grabbed my attention from the start; however, it ended so abruptly and didn't really answer "whodunnit?".

I found it a little difficult in the beginning to really follow who all of the characters were, as it just throws you into the middle of a party at the Senator's house - and then the dates jumping around kind of threw me off, too. But I got used to that pretty quickly.

I loved all of the unexpected twists and turns! Just when I thought I had something figured out, WHAM! - another surprise!

I'm glad George ended up with Barbara personally, but I HATED the rest of the ending. A killer was not revealed. Both George and Barbara were stuck at meaningless jobs which they obviously hated ... it just seemed like a lot of drawn out suspense through the book only to end very dully. For this reason, I had to rate it only 3 stars.

And with that ending, I will be honest and say that I would NOT recommend this book to anyone else. It's dissapointing.

View all my reviews

Last Movie I Saw in a Theater
The last movie I saw in the theater, sadly, was The Croods.  The only sad part was that it was mid-April when we saw that one, so it's been a while!  Things have just been so hectic lately and I literally just haven't had any time.  However, The Croods was such a cute movie!  Colten and I went to see it when his dad and step-mom came to visit for a few days.  I was really looking forward to the movie, and it didn't disappoint!  For those that don't know, The Croods is a movie about a family of cavemen that are striving to survive out in the wild amongst other animals.  However, the daughter, Eep (yes, that's her name), is rebellious and is tired of following by the 'rules'.  She wants an adventure!  And boy does she get one!  She ventures out of their cave after dark (which is a giant NO-NO) and meets Guy (that's his name), who is not a caveman, but he's searching for the sun, as he knows that's where he will be happy, etc. etc.  It's a cute storyline of them all trying to reach the sun.  And I'll admit right now, I teared up a little - there are a few sad parts that just pull at your heartstrings! 

This guy was my favorite - 'Belt'.  Because, well, he was a belt!  Haha.  "Dun, dun, DUNNNN!" 

It's definitely a super cute movie that I would recommend to people of all ages!  Seriously, go see it! 

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All gave some. Some gave {ALL}.

Today is Memorial Day. 
A day to honor all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in ensuring our freedom. 
Today, we honor those that have died in the line of duty to protect our nation from all enemies. 
Today is not just a day to party and BBQ.  Today is not just the last day of a three-day weekend.
Today is a day that so many families: sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, friends, remember their loved ones who died serving this nation. 
Instead of shopping for the Memorial Day sales or BBQ'ing by the pool, take a few moments out of whatever you're doing to pray for those that have paid the sacrifice and for their grieving families. 
Do not let those fallen heroes down.  Don't take your freedom for granted, because they didn't.  Instead, honor them.  Life your life to its fullest, take those chances that scare you to death, and give thanks for every single soldier that has laid down his or her life to protect YOUR freedom, to protect YOUR dreams and goals. 
Those fallen men and women sacrificed their lives so that we, yes YOU and ME, could be FREE! So, this Memorial Day, remember what the day is truly about.  Remember that in order for you to have the opportunity to be with friends and family today, many lives were lost. 
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Newlywed Game {Take 6}

So, it's been a while since Colten and I linked up for The Newlywed Game!  I think it's time for a little fun amidst all of the chaos this week has brought. 
1. If your spouse could have one thing in the world (besides millions of dollars) what would it be?
Bri: A really, really big truck.  Like, seriously lifted.
Colten: It would be for her late Grandmas to have been at our wedding in person and for her to be able to spend more time with them.  (y'all. this man is so sweet and knows my heart)

2. Is your spouse an early bird or a night owl?
Bri: Definitely a night owl!  That man could stay up until 2am and sleep until noon every single day if I'd let him and he wasn't employed.  *sigh*
Colten: Oh she is definitely not an early bird - she is a night owl.

3. Does your spouse do anything weird or silly when they are nervous? If so, what?
Bri: Not really.  He's pretty laid back and doesn't get nervous very often.  Maybe he will on graduation day!
Colten: She really doesn't do anything weird or silly.  Her stomach just gets in knots.

4. What is the most spontaneous thing you have ever done as a couple?
Bri: Wow, great question.  I honestly have no idea!
Colten: Spend money when we were not even planning on it.

5. What makes your spouse different/special from any other person you know?
Bri: He puts up with me!  I can be a lot to deal with sometimes (shocker, I KNOW!), but he doesn't even hesitate - he gives me the space I need in the moment and then comes to give me a giant hug! He understands me in a way that no one else does, and he's constantly showing his everlasting love for me. 
Colten: She is my wife.  Everything is special about her. (again, this man just melts my heart!)

6. In the summertime, does your spouse most resemble a white snowman, a red lobster, or a very tan Pauly D?!
Bri: Ahahahaha!  Well, in the beginning of summertime, he is most definitely a white snowman!  He then slowly turns to a red lobster - he's a fish and LOVES being in the pool - without sunscreen.  I'm working on him! 
Colten: Well, she is a white snowman trying to become a tan one.

7. What is one thing that people may not know about your spouse?
Bri: He is so loving and supportive.  Many people get the impression that he's a 'redneck' and that's all there is to him.  WRONG!  There are so many interior layers to him that not many people get to see.  It's definitely something special, and I'm so glad I'm peeling back all of those layers! :)
Colten: She loves to read.

8. What is your spouse’s favorite holiday?
Bri: I'm going to say Thanksgiving, because there is lots of food involved!
Colten: Christmas is her number one holiday. (yes!)

9. There is a table full of food. Salad, meat, bread, desserts. Which dish does your spouse devour first?
Bri: SALAD!  That man can tear up a salad like it's nobody's business.  I'm not complaining though, as it's better for him than devouring many other unhealthy things! 
Colten: She will go for either the meat or the salad, whichever one she wants at the time.

10. I am so thankful that my spouse is ______________ because I am definitely not!
Bri: I'm so thankful that my spouse is calm because I am definitely not!  Seriously, he does stress sometimes,but he just doesn't let most things get to him.  He doesn't worry when it's unnecessary.  Me on the other hand, I worry about everything all the time!  It's something I struggle with and am constantly working on.  And also something he constantly reminds me about - it's a bad habit!
Colten: She is very book smart and knows how to study because I most definitely am not.
Also linking up here for 'the petites'.  Absolutely LOVE this new linkup! :) 

Also, be sure to stop by and check out our GIVEAWAY that ends next week!  That's right, only one more week to enter for a chance to win lots of great stuff! :)

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Emotional Disaster

This week has been terrible
And it's only Wednesday.  
Actually, I believe I made that statement yesterday, when it was only Tuesday.  
We all know those weeks where it just seems like the world is completely against you.  Well, that's life.  What are we to do?  It's just so...hard.  
I received heartbreaking news on Monday afternoon, which I knew was only a matter of time.  More to come on that specific topic later.  
My heart cannot handle it right now.  
On top of that, the horrific tornado struck in Oklahoma, leaving many families torn apart and desperate for help.  Although I was not personally devastated by the impact, it's everywhere: in the news, social media, talk around the office...  There's no escaping it.  It's tragic, and those affected will need time and prayer to heal their souls.
And the week continues...  
Yesterday, Colten received information from his school regarding his financial aid.  We now have to come up with an obscene amount of money in order for his projected graduation/school path to continue as planned.  
Thankfully, for this 'problem', I knew where to turn.  
But that didn't stop me from having a full blown panic attack.  It came out of nowhere.
And here I sit today, feeling all kinds of defeated and every bit drained from being a total emotional disaster.  
My eyes burn.  
 It's not normal to cry so much.
Seriously, I've had to have the lights off in my office for the past few days in order for me to even open my eyes.  
But I can't help it.  I'm sad; I'm anxious; I'm stressed; I'm angry; I'm exhausted.  
I guess that would sum up being an emotional disaster.  
My brain can't even function normally.  
I need sleep.  
I've been working overtime at work on top of already working two jobs.  Why?  It's excellent money!  And now, since yesterday's news, we're in even more need of as much extra money we can come up with as possible.  And I'm reminded:

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:19 

God will provide for my needs.  When I think it can't get worse after being hit with wave after wave of turmoil, I am shown the light.  I for sure thought there was no way we could afford for my husband to finish school as planned, but there is a way, and he will finish as planned.  It is NOW that the overtime at work is being offered - and it's a big deal, as it doesn't happen very often at all.  It is NOW that we are able to get the support that we need from those we love.  It is NOW that God continues to show me that He, once again, provides for what it is that we need in that moment.

He has not and will not fail me.  That doesn't mean there won't be rough days ahead, as I know for a fact there will be ... it's going to be a hard next few weeks, it's guaranteed.  But I'm not alone.  My husband has lifted me up on so many occasions, and I'm ever so thankful for God placing him in my life.  My parents are always there to support us, both of us, in every aspect possible.  They have never and will never turn their backs on us, especially in our time of need.

So, although this is a very hard time in my life, my faith remains strong.  


I just might bend, but I won't break.  

There's gonna be BRIGHTER DAYS.

I know that this, too, shall pass.  But for now, I fear that I will remain an emotional disaster, and I pray that peace is in my near future.  
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Pray for {Oklahoma}

Today, the entire nation is praying for Oklahoma while they deal with the effects of yesterday's tornado. 
A tornado ripped through Moore, OK yesterday afternoon, destroying dozens of buildings and homes, including two elementary schools.  

 The tornado is reported to have been 2 miles wide - y'all, that's HUGE! 
The National Weather Service put the tornado at EF-4, with winds up to 200mph. 
The death toll had been reported to be at 51, with twenty of those being children.  However, the death toll has been revised down to 24, and at least 240 people are injured.   
If you or anyone you know are looking for loved ones, you can call the patient care hotline at moore Medical Center: 405.307.1366. 
Please, if you can donate, do! 
The best way to help is to donate at or text REDCROSS to 90999.  $10 will be donated to redcross and be added to your cell phone bill. 
The Salvation Army has mobilized a number of emergency relief services in Oklahoma, including Moore, to dispense food, hydration and emotional support to first responders and survivors.  Donate online or text STORM to 80888 to contribute $10 to the Salvation Army's relief efforts.  You can also call to make a donation at
Check out this video of a tornado survivor that lost her home but found her dog while being interviewed on TV:
Today, I'm praying for everyone affected by this natural disaster. 
Today, pray for Oklahoma.
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I ♥ Bloglovin'! {linkup}

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Today, I'm linking up with Northern Belle Diaries and Postcards from Rachel for
I ♥ Bloglovin'! 
I will be honest and say that I wasn't so sure about this whole bloglovin' thing at first, but I love it now!  It's a GREAT way to read up on blogs you follow and stay current.  Much easier for me, especially on my iphone!  Let's face it, the blogger app for iphone sucks.   
Follow Northern Belle Diaries on Bloglovin.

Follow Postcards from Rachel on Bloglovin.

Follow co-hosts (3rd, 4th and 5th links) on Bloglovin'.

Grab our button or link back to us in today's post.

Link up your Bloglovin' URL.

Visit 2 or more blogs!

I'm so excited to find new fabulous blogs to follow and love this link-up as a way to find them all!

Happy Monday, y'all!  
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Umm...I got a {TATTOO}!

That's right,


And no, it wasn't a super-spontaneous decision that I regret. 
It was only semi-spontaneous! ;)
But I still don't regret it!
But seriously, here's the lo-down: 
 I had been going back and forth with the idea for several years.
Colten wanted a tattoo since probably the day that I met him, almost 6 years ago! Well, let's clarify - he's wanted one longer than that, but I wasn't aware of it at the time because I didn't even know the guy! 
So, for his 21st birthday, his present from me was his first tattoo!  And he loves it! 
So do I :). 
He's been talking about getting another one, and there is conflict regarding what he wants to get - so nothing is going to happen until this girl gives the a-okay. 
Don't worry! 
So, needless to say it's been a topic of conversation on more than one occassion. 
I REALLY, really wanted to get a tattoo. 
But then the problem of exatly what to get pops up. 
It will be there...forever. 
I'm well aware of how permanent a tattoo is, which is also why you shouldn't take the decision to get one very lightly!  I definitely didn't.  It's not something I openly discuss with people, but that doesn't mean I've never wanted one.  It was also not a big secret or anything, so whatever.  Anyway, with the way things have been going in my life and what my future is looking like, I was ready. 
This picture was what inspired me:
which you've already seen if you follow me on Instragram!
I love the small, delicate cross, and the placement on the wrist.  It's something you know is there but you don't necessarily have to show to the entire world every time you go out in public. 
Thus began the lengthy and exhausting task of deciding which arm to get it on and exactly what to have the cross look like, etc. etc. 
But, I made my decision and sat on it for a while.  Colten okay'd it - he said he loved it!  And claims he still does - I hope so! :)
I admit I went back and forth a little on the day of, but not regarding any of the major aspects of getting a tattoo.  Now is when I would like to thank a few GREAT friends that helped me along the way, even if it was only for support.  For those that don't know me, I'm not one to normally get tattoos or to do anything spontaneous that has such a lasting effect. 
On the day I was going to get it done, I was definitely sure about getting it done.  I was also super anxious!  Seriously, I couldn't focus on anything else. 
How much was it going to cost, EXACTLY?
How much was it going to hurt, exactly? 
How much was I going to absolutely love and adore it? 
Little did I know...
Here's a little more background:

i hate needles.

Seriously, to this day, I cannot stand the sight of a needle.  I hate shots; I hate IV's; I hate giving blood - all of it.  Now I know that shots are necessary, as well as IV's, and I know giving blood is a great way to help, especially in times of need and low blood supply, so I'll still go through with it, but that doesn't mean I'll be okay with it!  I'll moan and groan and stomp my feet about having to get a simple shot. 
Yes, I'm a baby. 

So, the fact that I even wanted a tattoo kind of scared me at first, which might also be why I've sat on the thought of getting one for several years.  I also wanted to be sure I was old enough to really know that I'd want it and like it forever. 
I will, I assure you :). 

I kept asking myself how I would even handle getting a tattoo if I can't stand getting a shot? 
Seriously, how y'all?! 

You know how?  By putting on my big girl panties and just going for it!
It's something that I did for myself and no one else. 
It's something that I've been wanting to do.
It's something that's forever been on my bucket list, which I just may post more about later.
I'ts something that will be near and dear to my heart for forever.
It's something that I love.
It's something that no one else has to approve of or even look at. 
It's something that's all my own. 

Well, here it is!

The day I got my first tattoo!

It's nothing crazy or super big or anything, but I LOVE IT! 
And that's what matters :).
Three weeks ago today, Colten took me to go get my tattoo after work!  Since I'm being honest here, I'll admit that I had to just sit in the truck for a few minutes before even entering the place.  The guy at the counter took a look at what I was wanting and said he could knock it out in no time at all.  I paid for it, and he started prepping. 
I was nervous as heck, so it was great when my sister called and asked what I was doing - it's like she knew! Haha.  She was pretty much shocked when I told her where I was.  Understandable. 
The guy (with lots of tats and piercings and a badass handlebar moustache) said he was ready and so in the room we went!  He wore a headlight to help him see, since the tattoo was going to be pretty small.  One of his coworkers was passing by the room we were in and had to stop by to comment, which I absolutely loved!  He had to give him hell that he was wearing it - and asked if he was going mining later.  They went back and forth a few times and I was thankful - it helped get my mind off of what was happening. 
Now for what everyone talks about when getting a tattoo
the pain.
The pain wasn't so terrible, y'all!  It was there, oh yeah, but it honestly wasn't as bad as I was expecting.  Which might just mean that I was expecting to be a little baby again and start bawling like the baby that I am.  Instead, though, I clenched my teeth a few times - y'all, he's like coloring on my arm with a needle, it hurt - but overall, the experience wasn't that bad!  Colten is already asking me what I want next.  Ha!
I couldn't watch while he was doing it, though, just like I never watch when I'm getting a shot or IV put in.  I just couldn't.  And he covered it so fast that I really didn't get to look at it.  After getting it done, we went out to eat and invited my brother along.  The entire time, Colten was wanting me to take off the bandage to look at it - I don't think so!  It was still bleeding and we were eating - totally disgusting combo! 
I took it off when I got home and was in love.  I cleaned it and put my tat wax on it every day, 3-4 times a day, as instructed, and to this day it looks great! 
I'm proud of myself for doing something for me and only me.  I'm proud that I went through with it and that I love it.  No regrets here, people! 
Yes, I work in a professional atmosphere every day. 
Yes, I was concerned about having a tattoo in the workplace.
Yes, I can cover it up with a watch or other cute accessory, like a bracelet. 
Yes, I thought about it. 


It's still kind of weird to say, though.  I'm all like, "Umm, I got a tattoo!" 
Do you have any tattoos?  Do you want one/more?  What was your experience like?  
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I gave it away...

Hello lovelies!  I hope absolutely everyone is having a FABULOUS Thursday! 
I'm super pumped today for two, count them, TWO reasons! 
And now I'm assuming you'd like to know why.  Makes sense...
Well, for starters,
Who's with me?! 
#thestormiscoming has been trending and it holds a special place in my heart. 
The terrible storm hits Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital
The lights go out. 
And then, naturally, Meredith goes into labor.
C-section in the dark anyone? 
Yeah, didn't think so.  But I absolutely bet it'll make for EXCELLENT television tonight! 
Check it out.  Especially if you've been slacking off in the Grey's Anatomy department; it's had it's downslides, but it's oh so good right now! 
ABC at 9/8c!
BE THERE.  Because #thestormiscoming !
Reason number DOS for being PUMPED is because I gave it away
What did I give away?  Well, truthfully, nothing yet.  BUT....
You can ENTER NOW to win, win, WIN big over at
 Something About You and Me
And what I'm giving away --- 1 month of FREE ad space! 
Hip, hip, hooray!  Free for May!  Well, the winner will be announced in May, on the 31st to be exact.  The free adspace will begin on June 1st and run through the entire month
But that's not all! 
Wait, what?!! 
That's right!
There is MORE you can win by entering in our Month of May Giveaway! 
Here's the deets
First, let's all be nice here and follow by the rules:
1. Go follow the following lovely ladies - links below. 
2. ENTER the giveaway.  Instructions below.
*all entries will be verified*
Here's what's up for grabs!
Win 1 Month Free Ad Space for the following lovely ladies:
Something About You and Me
Simple Moments Stick
Today Was A Fairytale
My Life Would Suck Without Me (hey, that's me!)
Green Mountain Couple
You also will win these goodies:
$10 Amazon Gift Card from Siriusly Craftables
$25 Target Gift Card from Sweet Lion Life
Surprise Gift Box worth $30
Now, what do you have to do to join in on this crazy fun? 
That's the easy part! 
Just click that blue button down there
and follow the directions! 
Good luck y'all!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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{TEXAS}, baby!

Today, Rachel over at Rachel's Country Roots and Chelsee at Southern Beauty Guide are hosting a one-time link-up to learn more about 'where I come from'!  Okay, not me specifically, but bloggers from all over!  I love this idea, and I'm excited to learn more about where these people come from.  After all, you're reading about them every day (or however often they post), so it's another step closer to really knowing the 'people behind the blogs' that you follow!  
Okay, enough of that...let's get to it!   
As you've already guessed from the title of this post, I'm from TEXAS, baby! 
Yep, a born and raised Texan. 
Can you tell I'm proud?  Haha! 
So, some of the best things about Texas are family values, tradition, sweet tea, the lakes, cowboys, pride, scenery, and much, much more! 
Friday night football is pretty serious around here, too.  And rightly so!  I grew up in small town Schulenburg, Texas.  I know, I know...where's that?  Like I haven't heard that one before!  Our graduating high school class was only like 60 people, just to give you an idea.  But going to a small high school meant awesome Friday night football!  Seriously, the entire town shows up!  It's a great sense of community and feels great to be supported.  I played volleyball all through high school, and the town didn't disappoint in showing support for more sports than just football.  They always showed up for the volleyball, softball, track, baseball, and basketball teams too!  It's great to know that your town supports you and shows up to watch games.  It's one of my best memories - the feeling of a high-energy volleyball!  I digress...
I must add, though, that the love of all things sports does not stop at high school.  Hello?!  Houston Rockets, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Texans, Texas Rangers ... just to name a few :). 
Family values are also very important!  Seriously - our family makes weekends feel like family reunions!  We will celebrate anything and everything, and everyone shows up!  Family is important, and I'm definitely a family gal.  I currently live two hours away from my parents and most cousins, and sometimes that feels too far!  But I definitely consider myself blessed, because I know not everyone has the luxury to be close to home! 
Colleges - there are a lot of them!  The good ol' rivalry between the Fightin' Texas Aggies (I felt the pain of just writing that) and the Mighty Texas Longhorns (hook 'em!) is pretty awesome.  It's all in good fun and it follows you EVERYWHERE.  But I love it. 
Growing up, we spent a lot, and I mean a LOT, of time at Lake Somerville! 
Let me tell you, my friends, sooooo many great memories at this place!  We still try to make a point to go back, but we went pretty often when I was younger.  This lake is great for boating, fishing, name it! 
The scenic views in Texas are also pretty grand.  I'm definitely a fan, but I may be a tiny bit biased:

Where I live now: the hill country in Austin, Texas.

Obviously not an urban populated part of Texas. :) But I LOVE IT! 

And then there's Big Bend National Park!

We took a vacation there when I was younger, and it was so fun!  Well, as much as I can remember anyway :).
Another great thing I love about Texas is the variety.  Not every town is a stereotypical 'country' town.  You can definitely live here and LOVE IT if you're into a more urban area or dislike country music.  Austin has a music scene and you can find anything and everything.  I'm fond of the Frank Erwin Center - it's a great venue just down the street from the University of Texas (hook 'em! - wait, have I said that already??) for some great concerts!  Some family members recently went to a Bon Jovi concert in April there and they loved it!  I actually used to work there while I was attending UT and it was so much fun!  I loved to be able to see some of the 'behind the scenes' kind of stuff. 
It's also the venue to lots of sporting events, such as UT basketball :). 
But anyway, back to the versatility.  Most small towns do tend to be a bit more of your stereotypical 'country' living, but there are plenty of metro cities to live in if that's more your speed!  Houston, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, El Paso, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Killeen/Temple/Fort Hood area, Lubbock, etc. etc. 
Yes, there are a lot of beer drinking, back porch sittin, country music singing kind of nights. 
Backroading is awesome. 
Cows exist.
Sweet tea - 'nuff said! 
Some of the 'not so great' things about Texas:
Record breaking temperatures are NOT news around here.  And the 'Texas heat' is no joke.  It's also a 'thing'.  I hate it.  I would much rather live in Alaska - which is an ongoing joke amongst my family members - I'd LOVE to be cold! 
I feel ya little man! 

And this is DEFINITELY not a negative, but yet another great thing about Austin?  This place. 

Barton Springs Pool. 
It's a much welcome relief during those hot summer days, which I believe are just around the corner, sadly. 
Another not-so-great thing:
the stereotypes. 
Yes, I live in Texas and NO, I'm not a hick. 
And yes, I've heard that we're all 'loud, rude, obnoxious, insensitive, ignorant, bigoted, arrogant, uncaring, selfish, greedy Republican blowhard gun-nuts'.  NOT.TRUE.  Let's move on, kay? =D
I grew up in a small town, and now I currently live in Austin - which is not so much of a small town.  Stay tuned for a comparison of country & city living soon! :)
Simplicity vs. Fast-Paced Stress
Pros & cons coming to a blog near you!  (MINE!)
So, that's just a little bit about Texas!
Welcome, and I hope you stay awhile! :)
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While I'm Cheltee!

 I have been totally nonexistant to blogland lately, and there's a very good reason! 
Woo hoo!!!!
Okay, it wasn't to some magical land with lots of fruity drinks and delicious eye candy, but it was still amazing!  I will share more on this later in the week, but in the meantime, please meet CHELTEE! :)


Hello Beautiful People 

Thank you to Bri for letting me take up a little space on her blog for this afternoon.

I am sure many of you have no clue who I am so let me introduce myself.

Hello, I am Cheltee and I blog over at Something About You & Me.

I am a 21 year old newlywed who lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her handsome husband and fur babies.

I blog about being a new wife, dealing with my plus size body, and all my crazy life events.

If you want to know even more about me, then take a joy ride over to my blog and check me out.

Now lets get started with the little helpful words I have in store for you today.

 "5 things you may need to know about your future or current husband."

Before I get started with the list please keep in mind this is strictly out of my own brain, and every boyfriend, fiance, husband, or male is different.

He loves to feel needed by his woman

Come on ladies let your husband fix the jammed closet door or that silly necklace that allows gets tangled.

Every man loves to help out his damsel in distress. If he feels like you need a helping hand, for gosh sakes let him help.

Let him impress you!

Heck there are even times that I will tighten a jar a little tighter just to ask him to help me open it.

Even at times when he looks makes those sighs, he is actually loving the fact that you asked.

Remember though men also love an independent woman so do not be to needy.

Just because he doesn't say it doesn't mean he doesn't show it

All women love to hear the words I love you or You're beautiful and guess what we deserve it.

However just because he doesn't tell you it every time he sees you doesn't mean he doesn't care.

Men tend to use their actions then their words.

Kissing you on the cheek before heading out to a night on the town.

Sending you roses just because its Tuesday

Wrapping his arms around you as he passes through the kitchen

Putting the toilet seat down

Yep all these things are simple little ways to show that he is thinking about you.

Some are louder then others but he is doing it.

So the next time you think he is being a little distant look around and see what little things he is doing.

Tell him straight up

I don't know about you but I would rather have someone tell me whats wrong then me having to pull it out of them.

Your Husband probably feels the same way.

When your angry and your man asks what is wrong, don't say I am fine because your not.

Tell him what is up, if you need some time to calm down.

Tell him!!

"Hey babe, I love you but I just need a moment. We can talk about it later"

Bam Wam thank you Ma'am

Also if you are ready to talk and he doesn't act like he is listening. Don't Freak out!

Sometimes men just need a few minutes to process the situation.

Am I saying all men listen to every word your saying, NO, but most do try.

Don't nag him about taking time to process what just happened.

Give him a chance to think about what the right thing for him to do is.

He does care how he looks and most importantly how you look

It is true your husband probably doesn't know the difference between Gucci & Escada but he does know the difference between Hot & Not. (most of the time)

I will be the first one to say that my man takes forever in the bathroom in the morning.

Heck sometimes I am ready well before he is in the morning.

It is because my husband cares about what he looks like and I am sure yours does too.

He knows what shoes goes best with his jeans and white t-shirt.

When shopping he isn't just picking out a shirt, he is matching it with those torn up jeans you bought him for Christmas three years back.

When he goes shopping for you, he brings you not because he doesn't know what the hell he is doing.

He brings you because he doesn't want to piss you off if he gets the wrong size.

When he tells you, Babe you look banging, its not because he is thinking about sex (well maybe)

Its because he is thinking about all the guys who are going to be jealous that your his woman.

So maybe do a little test with your man and see how much he really pays attention to what you wear.

Let him pick out your outfit for an event or night out, I am telling you

He may just surprise you.

Show him what you want

So you want your husband to be more affectionate but you don't know how to tell him?

Well everyone needs a little helping hand, no one is perfect.

Instead of waiting til that big argument you have almost every other month to tell him how much you miss the romantic side of your relationship.

Try this!

The next time he makes you dinner because you had a long day at work, even if it is carry out.

Tell him how much you love the fact that he shows he cares in little ways like that.

You are not only making him aware of the fact that you know he is doing a great job but you are showing him he has the ability to do something affectionate.

Small steps are good steps.

Well thank you for wasting two minutes reading my silly little list.

If it didn't help you or at least put a smile on your face then I am sorry, not sorry.

Now go check out my blog and show some love.

Thanks again Bri!

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Thanks, Cheltee! :)  Here's to hoping the ladies will remember these helpful hints in moments of STRESS! 
Happy Monday, y'all!
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Be {Fearless}!

Fear is very real and very scary.
But you shouldn't let it define your life or keep you from living every day to the fullest! 
Read my take on fear over on my guest post on Cheltee's blog!  
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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children {Reading Recap}

it's just that good!

And perfect if you've always thought about wanting to read the book but never got around to it...enjoy this summary :)

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
is definitely a 'different' kind of book...
Yes, the little girl in the picture is levitating! 
This is a tale about Jacob Portman, outcast extraordinaire.  Growing up, his grandfather, Abraham (Abe) Portman, told him story upon story about his life: living in an orphanage, fighting in war, crossing oceans and deserts, performing in circuses, and knowing everything about how to survive.  He was fascinating.  The most fascinating, though, were Abe's stories about life in the Welsh children's home.  This place was enchanted and designed t o keep kids safe from monsters, on an island where the sun always shined and no one ever got sick or died.  What a life!  When Jacob asked his grandfather why he had to leave his parents in Poland, Abe would alwasy respond the same: because the monsters were after him.  What kind of monsters, you ask?  Why, these monsters were awful hunched-over ones with rotting skin and black eyes, had three tongues, and smelled of putrefying trash!  How awful.  But the kids weren't like other kids - they were peculiar!  Jacob would probe further, asking about the children...
"There was a girl who could fly, a boy who had bees living inside him, a brother and sister who could life boulders over their heads."
Abe could tell Jacob didn't fully believe the children were real, so he showd him pictures!  Four wrinkled and yellowing snapshots:
1-a blurry picture of what looked like a suit of clothes with no person in them, or a person with no head.  But, in fact, he was invisible.  Millard was his name.
2-a little girl wearing a crown; her feet weren't touching the ground.  She was levitating
3-a scrawny boy lifting a boulder.  He was STRONG.
4-the back of somebody's head, with a face painted on it. He had two mouths, one in the front and one in the back. 
As Jacob grew older, however, he began to question these stories.  They just couldn't be true!  He was picked on at school for repeating the tales to his classmates.  Abe stopped telling stories about his past, and he was known to be 'crazy' by his family. 
Then one day, Jacob received a phone call at work - it was his grandfather demanding to know where the key to his gun chest was.  He had to get the key!  Used to this behavior, Jacob told his grandfather to calm down and told him that he was safe.  He reassured him that the monsters weren't coming for him.  Abe's son, Jacob's father, was ready to put Abe in a home.  It was the same old ways with crazy Abe.  But, Jacob wouldn't hear of it.  He left work and headed to his grandfather's house to check on him. 
Jacob ran from room to room calling out his grandfather's name.  But nothing.  No reply.  No sounds.  Just empty.  Behind Grandpa Portman's house was the backyard, which led up to the Florida woods.  Jacob knew that's where his grandfather had to be, so searched he did.  What he found was his worst nightmare.  His grandfather lay facedown in a bed of bud, his legs sprawled out and one arm twisted beneath him as if he'd fallen from a great height.  His undershirt was soaked with blood, his pants were torn, and one shoe was missing.  He didn't move.  Jacob could hear him breathing ever so shallowly - he knew he had to move him.  But just then, Abe began to speak: 'Go to the island, Yakob.  Here it's not safe.'  Jacob knew it was the old paranoia.  But Abe's last words were:
"Find the bird.  In the loop.  On the other side of the old man's grave.  Septemeber 3, 1940.  Emerson - the letter.  Tell them what happened Yakob." 
Jacob knew what had done that to his grandfather was still in the woods.  He took his flashlight and aimed it - and for an instant, he saw a face that seemed to have been transplanted directly from his nighmares of his childhood.  It stared back with eyes that swam in dark liquid, furrowed trenches of carbon-black flesh loose on its hunched frame, its mouth hinged open grotesquely so that a mass of long eel-like tongues could wriggle out.  His friend that was with him didn't see anything, and from that moment on, Jacob was also thought of to be crazy.  His parents treated him like a breakable heirloom, afraid to fight or fret in front of him or he would shatter.  He was plagued by nighmares so bad he had to wear a mouth guard to keep from grinding his teeth into nubs as he slept.  He couldn't close his eyes without seeing the tentacle-mouth horror in the woods.  He wa sconvinced it killed his grandfather.  He was sure it was lurking everywhere: dark trees, beyond the next car in a parking lot, behind the garage by his bike - it was waiting. 
Jacob did everything in his power to try to figure out exactly what his grandfather's last words meant, but to no avail.  He agreed to see a shrink, Dr. Golan, to help him sort through his grief, anger, and confusion.  He was just about to give up when he received a book for his birthday - it was a book by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and it used to belong to his grandfather.  It was found in his home after he died.  And, in side the book was a letter - written by Ms. Alma Peregrine.  The postmark on the letter read: Cairnholm Is., Cymru, UK.  From that moment, Jacob knew he had to go to Cairnholm island - he knew it held secrets of his grandfather's past.  His shrink agreed that a trip to the island would help Jacob find closure, even if he came up empty-handed.  So, it was settled.  Jacob would go to Cairnholm Island, a tiny island off the coast of Wales, with his father for a few weeks in the summer. 
The island was lacking modernization, to say the least.  There was only one phone on the entire island, and only one set of rooms to rent to stay.  They didn't get many visitors.  Jacob set out to find the old house his grandfather told him about, and his dad set off to study the birds of the island.  Jacob found the house, and to his dismay, knew that Miss Peregrine, the headmistress that wrote his uncle the letter, was no longer alive.  He was determined for answers, so he searched the house.  The house looked evil and had been torn apart by bombs from World War II.  He found a giant crate in one of the bedrooms upstairs and tried everything to open it.  Finally, he thought to push it over the staircase and pray that it would break open from the fall.  It did break open, but it went straight through the first level and into the basement.  Crap!  Jacob tried to stay away from the dark, putried basement, but now he had no choice.  He crept down into the pitch blackness.  That's when he found the contents of his crate scattered about the wood of the crate.  Then, the children appeared.  The little girl ran, and Jacob ran after her, trying to convince her that he wouldn't hurt her - she eventually captured him and kept him as her 'slave'.  Then, Jacob met Millard, who was invisible.  Jacob wasn't sure if he was dreaming or if he was really encountering the children his grandfather spoke about so often long ago. 
They entered 'the old man's grave', which was stone tunnel next to the bog in Cairnholm, and came out to sunny skies and horse-drawn buggies.  No loud generators.  No cars.  Jacob knew something strange had happened.  But then, the little girl, who later reveals herself as Emma, and Millard took Jacob to the house.  Only this time, the house was beautiful and enchanting.  Jacob could not get over how it looked so different, and much like how his grandfather described it for all those years.  He was introduced to Miss Peregrine, who instantly knew who Jacob was.  The others weren't so sure.  But Miss Peregrine assured the children that he was, in fact, Abraham Portman's grandson.  Then, the explanations began. 
Miss Peregrine explained that Abraham Portman did live with them (Miss Peregrine and the children) in the big house on the island.  He chose to leave them to fight in the war during that time, and then he lived in America to raise his family.  Miss Peregrine also explained that her, the children, and Jacob's grandfather were 'peculiars'.  She explained that the taxonomy of Homo sapiens is a simple dichotomy: there are the coerlfolc, the teeming mass of common people who make up humanity's great bulk, and there is the hidden branch - the crypto-sapiens who are called syndrigast, or 'peculiar spirit'.  The remaining peculiars live in hiding, all over the world.  There was a time when the peculiars could mix openly with common folk, but they were slowly forced into hiding.  Peculiar traits often skip a generation, or ten.  Peculiar children are not always, or even usually, born to peculiar parents, and peculiar parents do not always, or even usually, bear peculiar children.  Jacob learned that Miss Peregrine could manipulate time.  She explained that she created a loop (time loops had been created for quite some time, and there were several created by peculiars like her throughout the world) which replayed the same day, September 3, 1940, over and over and over again.  However, the peculiars in the time loop remembered their experiences and what happened from day to day, only the commons did not. 
 Jacob found out that Emma was in love with her grandfather, and she was heartbroken when Abe decided to fight in the war - and ultimately never came back for her as he had promised.  He also learned that by remaining in a time loop, peculiars didn't physically or mentally age.  However, if they spent hours and hours outside of the loop, time would catch up with them and they would begin to age quickly to catch up to their actual age.  So, the children appeared to be quite young, mostly Jacob's age (teenagers), but they were really between 80 and 100 years old! 
Jacob loved learning about the children and hanging out with them - he found them to be highly entertaining and loved going back to September 2, 1940 every morning when he awoke in the present day.  He continued to travel back and forth, in and out of the loop.  Emma was a fireball and could create fire from her hands, Millard was invisible, Claire had a mouth in the back of her heard, Enoch could raise the dead, Bronwyn was the strong girl.
Miss Peregrine had company from another time manipulator, of which she stated her children had been destroyed, and she flew to Miss Peregrine to warn her.  This is when Jacob learned that many peculiars attempted an experiment to turn themselves into demi-gods, ultimately resulting in the experiment turning them all into hollowgast - rather than becoming gods, they transformed themselves into devils, with no heart or soul.  In a cruel twist of irony, they achieved the immortality they had been seeking.  It's believed that the hollows can live thousands of years, but it is a life of constant physical torment, of humiliating debasement - feeding on stray animals, living in isolation - and of insatiable hunger for the flesh of their former kin, because peculiar blood is their only hope for salvation.  If a hollow gorges itself on enough peculiars, it becomes a wight.  It is also important that hollows cannot enter a loop, but wights can.  If being a hollow is a living hell - and it most certainly is - then being a wight is akin to purgatory.  Wights are almost common - they have no peculiar abilities.  But becasue they can pass for human, they live in servitude to their hollow brethren, acting as scouts and spies and procurers of flesh - it's a hierarchy of the damned that aims someday to turn all hollows into wights and all peculiars into corpses.  Hollows also retain no memory of their former lives, which helps peculiars hide in their loops.  Wights also lack pupils - creepy! 
Things began to click for Jacob as he put two and two together and learned that his grandfather was a peculiar - his ability was that he could see the hollows, as most peculiars could not.  Then, Jacob realized that a hollow is what he saw the night his grandfather was murdered.  And the reason everyone thought he was crazy?  Because they were common folk, and Jacob was a peculiar that saw a hollow. 
Miss Peregrine used Jacob going back and forth between her time loop and the present day to stay updated on any new visitors to the island.  But then it hit him - his dad studied birds (he was an ornithologist), and told Jacob that another ornithologist had come to the island as well and was encroaching his territory.  Jacob relayed the information on the newcomer to Miss Peregrine.  The house went on lockdown, just to be safe if the bird watcher was in fact a wight. 
Then, a few days later, Martin, the museum keeper in present-day town, had gone missing.  He failed to open his museum or stop by the bar for his customary nightcap.  When the bar owner's wife went in search of him at his home, she found his front door hanging open and his wallet and glasses on the kitchen table, but no one was home.  Finally, a few days later, a call came in that Martin's body had been fished out of the ocean.  He had been murdered and was only in his robe and boxer shorts, very unlike Martin to be out and about in the dead of night dressed like that.  Jacob informed Miss Peregrine what happened, and she put the children's home on further lockdown - no one was to go outside of the walls, including Jacob.  It was for their own safety.  However, Jacob, Emma, Bronwyn, and Enoch agreed that they needed to see Martin's body, which had been stored in the fisherman's ice house while a terrible storm ravaged the island, to ascertain whether or not it was a hollow that attacked him.  They ventured away from the house unnoticed, with the help of the other children, and were off.  What they learned was that Martin was in fact attacked by a hollow, only after a wight had come to his door in the middle of the night.  The wight that was right behind them in the ice house.  
The children were very frightened as the wight began to speak.  He knew exactly who each child was and how they had come to the children's home: Emma Bloom, a spark, was abandoned at a circus when her parents couldn't sell her to one; Bronwyn Bruntley, berserker, taster of blood, didn't know her own strength until the night she snapped her rotten stepfather's neck; Enoch O'Connor, dead-riser, born to a family of undertakers who couldn't understand why their clients kept walking away.  And Jacob. 
Jacob soon realized that the wight was doing a fine impression of his middle school bus driver, Mr. Barron.  Then, the man's accent changed, and Jacob realized it was his family's lawn and pool man for years.  When Jacob asked how the wight knew where to find him, he answered, "Why, Jacob, you told me yourself.  In confidence, of course."   - Dr. Golan - Jacob's psychiatrist whom he had told EVERYTHING about his grandfather and the stories.  He knew exactly where Jacob was because Jacob had, in fact, told him.  
Golan showed up at the house and took Miss Peregrine, in bird form.  After a lengthy battle and swim to the lighthouse, Jacob, Emma, Bronwyn, and Millard successfully killed Golan the wight, but Miss Peregrine could not turn back into her human form!  Then, all the children realized that the time-loop had not reset, and they were in trouble.  The children, including Jacob, agreed to go in search of another loop.  They all piled into a boat, with Miss Peregrine in tow, and set out on their new journey.  
*end of book* 
 The complete first half of this book is booooooorrrriinnngggg!  Seriously, I understand the need for some backstory, but half of a novel of it is a bit ridiculous.  However, once I got to the meat & potatoes of the novel,  I was hooked!  I couldn't put it down - I just had to know what happened next! 
The ending does end rather abruptly, but I wasn't surprised by this at all since my sister had warned me of this; but all is well, because there are plans for a second book to come out next year!  :)
So, if you're wanting to read something 'different' and intriguing, this is the book for you!  I look forward to book #2!
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