Friday, May 11, 2012


With this post,
I want to state my personal beliefs in a completely inoffensive way:

1. The Devil, Satan, is very real. He is our enemy. He has power. He is the cause of all bad things (divorce, sickness, anger, sickness, hatred, sickness....did I mention sickness?)
2. God is our deliverer, He does not give us/cause sickness, disease, unhealthy relationships, etc. In addition, He died for our sins as well as sicknesses.
3. God does not allow us to go through a heartache so that His glory may be seen.

That last one is pretty controversial, I know.

I base my opinions on John 10:10. Jesus says: "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
He continues on to say "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."

I don't see how a God who has come so that WE may have life and have it to the full, so much that He lays down His own life for us, could allow these horrible tragedies upon us. ... That's because He doesn't. He put a stop to all of that when He died for us. The DEVIL, the Enemy, Satan, does these things to us. We do not realize the power the Devil does have. He has power, but we have The Power of the Cross that trumps his power. So that's where it falls on us. We have The Power of the Cross. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior we have access to The Power of the Cross that trumps the Devil's power. We just have to receive it and use it.

We can't walk around believing the Lord wants us to live in pain, or He allowed us this disease because He needs to reveal His Glory through us. I think Calvary (His death) was powerful enough to show His Glory for thousands of years to come. He has nothing to prove. When we walk around defeated, the Devils wins.

Think about this. When a foreign country wants to attack the United States (or any other country for that matter) what are they going to do? Study the country's every move. Get to know that country's routine inside and out. The Enemy knows us, he studies us, he wants to know where to hit us that will negatively affect our lives the most. He wants us to believe that all this bad stuff is happening to us because it's what the Lord wants. That's why when we don't acknowledge tragedies as the Devil's work--he's winning. When he has us believing the Lord wants us to suffer this heartache so He can reveal His Glory the Devil can keep on sneaking around and keep on winning.

Ok, ok. So something really bad has happened to you. You can't stop wondering "Why me Lord?" That is where the Enemy starts winning. God didn't do it, the Devil did it.  God abolished it at Calvary, you have to start accepting that and SPEAKING it into your life. You have to receive it. The work has been done, receive it with faith!

Here are some Power Verses:

I realized I've just said all of this and you may still be unaware that Jesus did in fact die for our sins AND our sicknesses.
Isaiah 53: 4-5
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrow, yet we consider him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

By His wounds we are healed! Speak it with faith in your life.

Psalm 103: 2-3
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.

It's in God's Word, He heals our diseases. Speak it with faith in your life.

2 Kings 20: 5
This is what he Lord, the God of your father David says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you..."

He sees your tears, He wants to heal you. Let Him! Speak it with faith in your life.

Jeremiah 33:6
"Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security."

Now that's a verse that helps me sleep at night. Speak it with faith in your life. Speak it, live it so loud that the Devil hears every syllable and flees in defeat.

James 4:7-8
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.

By speaking these Power Verses into your life you are resisting the Devil. You are receiving God's healing.

Before I post I want to clarify "healing". We all take it as physical healing, because it often is. However, God cannot be limited, so healing can be the healing of a marriage, healing of a relationship, healing from your past, healing from emotional hurt, healing from the negative affects of a bad grade--I'm serious now! Anything, really, God can do anything.

Friday, April 27, 2012


Thanks to this new blogger interface, and my textbook and R software competing for my attention, my newest blog post was accidentally deleted. If I wasn't so busy studying I would be really really angry....

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

From the Bride's Eyes

My version of the big day.

I feel like I remember more than what people said I would, maybe because we (Mom and I) didn't have the stress of planning and coordinating the whole thing.

I'm going to start just after the fabulous rehearsal dinner that took place at Ethan's Aunt Mary's house. (Just wanted to say: it was the BEST rehearsal dinner I have ever ever been to, so fun and relaxing, not to mention great food!)

Mom and Dad decided it would be best if only us four stayed at our house on Friday night. I can't remember if I've blogged about this yet or not, but when they first told us they didn't want anyone to stay that night I didn't really understand. The more people, the less tears!! But as we were riding back from Ethan's Aunt Mary's house it all made sense, we needed one last night of family time! We all sat on the couches before bed talking just like I was back in high school. It was very special. :) And it was nice to be able to get into the bathroom whenever I wanted and not having to worry about tripping over suitcases.

I can't believe I slept a wink that night!! I was so stressed out about not being able to sleep! But I did, and well, I didn't even have to play opossum until someone came in and woke me up. :)

Dad woke me up with a sweet hug and a prickly moustache-y kiss on the top of my head. Then he made my favorite breakfast and we went to the Farmer's Market together, just like a regular Saturday. He bought me some kettle corn and two HUGE sunflowers! Honestly though, the Farmer's Market isn't all that great, the booths are pretty much the same every weekend and we don't even stop at but one booth. I think it's more just being together, and the fact that we solve all of my world's problems in the truck on the way there.

Now, I'm not really sure where all of my family was doing that morning, probably exploring, getting hair done, things of that nature; but it was just me and my dad pretty much all morning. When we got home from the Farmer's Market we talked and talked (mostly about secret Father-Daughter things, you ;) ...just kidding). Then he made me lunch, tomato soup and grilled cheese, my favorite! :) Then I looked up at the clock and realized it was time to snap out of DadandBrandy land and get ready for this wedding. I slurped the soup and left for the hair appointment. Oh the hair appointment.

I grabbed my best friend Megan before the appointment, so she can attest to all of this. I had the practice hair run the week before and loveddd it! But for some reason the hairdresser was having an off day. It was very obvious she was having a hard time getting my hair to do what she wanted so it ended up being totally different than what we practiced.

There's a shot of it. But I figured "as long as I'm married to Ethan at the end of the day, nothing else matters."

The best part was, she told me she would do my makeup for free (which ended up being a lie). She asked if I wanted natural or something a LITTLE more exciting. I picked a LITTLE more exciting... We were on entirely different wavelengths. I panicked, as soon as I got out of the salon that is, and raced to Colonial Courts. My appointment was at 12 and I had to be at the place by 1:30 so I had no time to go home and redo anything. Thankfully when I got there my best friend Beka toned down the excitement that was all over my face. We pretty much wiped it all off, added a tiny bit of purple eye shadow and went with it.

Then I requested that Ethan be locked in his dressing bedroom (rather than myself in mine) so that I could run around, check out the decorations, take pictures, eat animal crackers, talk with my family, and the like.

All of a sudden it was time to get the dress on and get ready for the "First Look" pictures. So my Mom helped me change and I wobbled down the steps and out to the ceremony area where Ethan was waiting at the far end of the aisle. I was so nervous, shakey, teary, and excited!
As soon as I saw Ethan my
nerves were calmed. He's good at that ya know? Having a level head. :)

I requested those haybails to be left for the ceremony, it reminded me so much of home.

Then we went all over the field area to get pictures, which I cannot wait to see! Our photographer was GREAT, Freedom Dreamer Photography for those of you in NWA. Also, for those of you in the Chicago area, my best friend Beka is also a talented photographer, Rebekah Pollock. Look them up.

After the pictures the guests began to arrive so I had to take cover until everyone was seated. Finally it was time to line up! Grandparents, bridesmaids/groomsmen, ringbearer/flower girl, and the criers--me and Dad. The caterer (Kruton's also NWA, check them out, delicious!) noticed and kindly came over and told me he'd hold the back door open if I wanted to run out. Of course, I did not, but it was a welcomed laugh. We blinked and we were at the door about to walk out to the aisle. Jeannie (our planner) said "You can go." We were both red nosed and watery eyed when Dad whispered "We can't go until we get it together." Without looking at him (because that would've caused the tears to come rushing) I said "Dad we're never going to get it together." And with that we walked out, but not before one tiny little tear slipped from my eye to the very tip of my nose. OK HOLD EVERYTHING. I'm not going to walk down the aisle with this obnoxious little tear clinging to the tip of my nose. Thankfully, Dad came prepared.
The ceremony was beautiful, I took everything Jim Bob said to heart. There was even a surprise in there. The letters from our parents/family, we had no idea about!! The unity sand was pretty funny though, Ethan is pretty slow in doing anything (just kidding love you baby!) so I'm not surprised that his sand took so much longer than mine. Perfect example of our personalities. :)

Then the reception, Oh it was so much fun!!

The food was fantastic! We had a fruit/snack table with a ranch fountain (NOT white chocolate) and a chocolate fountain. The only bad thing was my dress was so tight and I was so nervous (about things that would happen later in the night) I didn't get to eat very much! Nonetheless, it was beautiful and delicious. I did force myself to eat a piece of cake though. Since I had been looking forward to its deliciousness for months!

There's a shot of it. Harps did it, for some legal reason (???) they're not allowed to use real flowers.

When we cut the cake Ethan promised he wouldn't shove it in my face...But he didn't promise he wouldn't shove it all over my chest...So basically it was in my hair, eyelashes, on the front of my dress, everywhere. The worst part was, I had already put the cake in his mouth so I didn't get a chance for revenge!!

Then we had the garter/bouquet toss. The garter toss was hilarious, Ethan got all up under my dress, got the garter, inserted it into his mouth, then stood up and pretended like he didn't know what happened to it, after he had everyone convinced it was lost he yanked it out of his mouth. It was great. The coordinator (April) turned to me and said "WHAT A STUD!!" Haha. I was mortified. It was hilarious.

Then we danced, mingled, and ate ice cream. Before I knew it, people were leaving and I realized if we didn't go, we'd be blowing bubbles for ourselves while we ran out to the car.

We ran through the bubble line, got in the car, and drove away. I'll stop there, but I will tell you we stayed at Embassy that night... for those of you that were looking for our car in the parking lot the next morning.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

An Update

Sunday!! Is my birthday! I pretty much have a countdown from January 24th to July 24th, but it's only in my and dad made a rule when I was younger that I couldn't talk about my birthday until the month of. I tend to get a little excited.

I'm VERY excited this year because Ethan got me an awesome present that I will post a picture of on facebook when I actually get it..........we really should change email passwords during birthday season, it is way. too. tempting.

Oh yeah, in all my birthday excitement I almost forgot, I'm married!!! FINALLY. After that white dress hanging in my closet for 10 months, we are finally married. And are loving every minute of it. A couple of things I've learned:

1. Ethan WILL pass gas under the covers and trap me in it!
2. NEVER iron his slacks while eating a sprinkley donut.
3. Pretend to be freezing and he'll think it's cooler than what it is (saving money on our electric bill, 77 degrees isn't that bad!! Mind over matter)
4. "Cuddling" is a good excuse for hogging the bed.
5. Cut the comforter in half, I can be warm he can be cool.

Living in our love nest we have learned:

1. There are two degrees of water, hot and scalding hot.
2. No, it's not an earthquake, it's the washing machine shaking the whole house.
3. The door will bump everytime the air kicks in, it's not a burgular.
4. We can't hear when people knock on the door, try trudging up the stairs
5. Thank God everyday, this place is such a blessing!

I'm very serious about that last one. Can't think of anywhere else we'd rather live!!

But I would say the best part about being married is knowing Ethan is always there for me, to hang out with me, cry with me, laugh with me, freak out with me, and protect me. I'm the luckiest girl in the world. :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Christmas Eve

Well, it’s finally the week of!!!! Excitement has overtaken me.

The only words I can think to describe what this week feels like are Christmas and Eve. You know (probably more like you knew when you were a kid) how rough Christmas Eve is. I swear it is the longest day of the year. You want to sleep in until noon to get rid of half of the day of waiting, but if you do you know you won’t be able to sleep that night. And help me if I'm wrong, a sleepless night is WAY longer than a boring day. I am just giddy with excitement and anticipation!

I’ve been sleeping on an air mattress all week. To be honest I was really worried that I would get sick from lack of sleep this week (because I’m a picky sleeper, and an air mattress isn’t my idea of a cozy night). But I have been straight up passing out, and sleeping all the way through the night. It’s like my brain is going 90mph all day with anticipation, so by 10pm it’s out.
But I have been doing some RIDICULOUS things. Ridiculous for me that is, because I am so pattern, routine, organized, etc.

For example:

I always make fun of people who can’t remember which side of their car the gas cap is on. Because really people, it tells you right there on your dashboard, you don’t have to remember! So yesterday during my 7th trip to WalMart I decide I need some gas. Naturally all the pumps are full and most have lines but I see some little lady in a white van get in and start to pull out. So I whip my car around, probably squealing my tires cutting in front of people yelling “See ya later losers.” (haha ok maybe not quite that extreme). I pull up, so excited I didn’t have to wait in line, swipe my card, enter my PIN, remove the nozzle, press fuel, spin around….you guessed it! WRONG SIDE! Totally embarrassing because of my dramatic pull up and the fact that there are probably 7 people in line behind me, my “cool points” are definitely in the negative right now. I smack my forehead and hit cancel 40 times so that the whole line doesn’t get free gas on my dime!

Notice above how I mentioned “7th trip to Wal-Mart.” Uh yeah, no joke. I just kept forgetting things that I really needed! I’m telling you, Cupid swiped my brain right out of my head while I was passed out on my air mattress.

Last night I left my phone in my shoe in the living room of my apartment; it didn’t get put up properly in its place! I let a pair of MY SOCKS sit on the floor over night! My life is in shambles!! I’m falling apart!! This wedding needs to hurry up and happen so I can get some organization back in order. There is so much going on; there is so much room for error.

Everything else is good though! We got our new place painted, thanks to our awesome family who pretty much pulled an all-nighter to get it done. We’ve started unpacking major things and soon it will be the cutest little love nest anyone’s ever seen. Some of my mom’s good sense of decoration has rubbed off on me!

The only bad thing: Ethan has realized the monster that is my closet. It’s really not that bad, pretty much the same as every other girl, but remember, he doesn’t have a sister….It’s really not that ridiculous that I need two dressers, plus a little bit of the hall closet, plus my closet, plus just a SMIDGE of his closet! I’m starting to wonder if I’m a “hoarder.” A hoarder of clothes I suppose. Honestly though, 275 days out of the year you will find me in a t-shirt and athletic shorts. But Saturday you will find me in something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue!!! :) :) :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Four.. AM

3 and 1/2 weeks! It's getting scary real.

I can't wait for it to happen for 4 reasons,
1. Be married to Ethan!!!
2. Get my life/work back in control
3. Do something crazy dramatic with my hair. (Maybe cut off an inch or two).

He doesn't know yet how badly I hog the bed... Yes, there is a reason Ry would rather sleep on the ground than in a bed with me. Ha! Hopefully he loves me more than a good night sleep.

We went on the church camp/float trip this weekend, what fun! We ended up camping even though I really don't like to camp. It was O.K. minus the teenage girls that stayed up until 3am laughing really loudly. Next year I'll have an air horn and my alarm set for 6am so look out little girls.

It was all fun until we were on the way back. I started getting nauseous and my head was throbbing, it felt like my body was radiating heat. So we decided that we should stop off at Ethan's apartment so he could shower and then we could eat because it was about 6 and we were starving. I laid down on his bed to try and get rid of my headache, I realized after 30 seconds it wasn't going to work so I hollered "MOM!!" I mean, "ETHAN! I need a cool wash cloth."

The part of growing up I don't like: when I would get sick oh so often in Iowa it was like Mom knew exactly what I needed without me having to tell her. You know like pink mashed potatoes, Sprite, some French Fries, to stay home from school, to watch TV, to take a bubble bath, to sleep in dad's spot. But now I have to tell Ethan what I need to feel better. Maybe in about 50 years he'll catch on.

Anyway, he gets me the cloth and lays down on the bed next to me. Next thing I know I wake up and it is pitch black outside, my headache is gone, but my nausea is coming in huge waves because it could be 4am for all I know! We had both left our phones in the car because we were planning on leaving right away. I'm like "EEEEthan! Wake up, it could be midnight, I need to get home and sleep!" So he jumps up and we run to the car and it's 10:01pm....which is pretty much 4am in my book!! I knew it was going to be a rough night, I only take naps if I'm sick. When I got home, my tummy lost it. I'll stop there.

So that leads me to the 4th reason I'm excited for the wedding to get here.

4. So I can wake up next to Ethan, wonder what time it is, and not puke from a mini-panic attack that I might've accidentally stayed most of the night with him. HA!

I think it was a mixture of things really, the sun, lack of sleep, and mini-panic attack. Regardless, hurry up June 25th!!

Friday, May 27, 2011


Everyday I realize that I am turning into my parents. And it is a good thing! They're so level-headed and are chalked full of good advice. They are what I like to call "secret cool." Secret cool is when something TOTALLY AWESOME happens to you and you don't tell anyone about it! It can be borderline shady at times. But to me it is way more appealing than "flaunt-y I've got it going on" cool. I want to be secret cool. Shake that NWA/Bentonville cool off of me and become even more like my parents, because they really do have it going on.

Have I ever mentioned that I'm from Iowa? You probably learned that within the first 5 minutes of knowing me. Well, Iowa has some pretty crumby weather. Like 9 months of winter and 3 of summer. That's one thing I don't miss even a little bit, because (you probably learned within the first 10 minutes of knowing me) I am in a constant state of cold. It's like my bones have built in air conditioning units.
Anyway, back to the story. The other night we were dog-sitting for the people that live in the apartment we are going to be moving into here in a couple of weeks. I'll admit I was poking around because Hey! I'm about to live here and I haven't seen the whole thing yet. I was standing in the kitchen and I peeked in the sink to see if it had a built-in food monster when I noticed a small brown spider. Ethan goes "oh I think that's a brown recluse." And then I fainted...ok not really. So he fan-dangles it into a little bowl and studies it for a second in his oh-so-scientific manner and comes to the conclusion that it is, in fact, a brown recluse. Then I started crying. I've never seen one in real life, I've only heard stories of how people lose limbs and lives because they get bit by these little creatures and here I am moving into an apartment infested with them!

Ok, slow down missbrandyjane, maybe you should call your parents and get some of that cool going on.

Ethan thinks I am ridiculous! But,
Here's what he doesn't understand:
There are no poisonous snakes or spiders in Iowa. I did not grow up with this kind of threat, so for me it's life shaking!!!
Here's what I don't understand:
Brown recluses don't live in clusters. Then don't like water or people so it's very weird to find one in the sink. We're just as likely to find one in the apartment I live in now as we are to find another one in that apartment.

OK I'm calm, but that doesn't change the fact that I feel like I'm living in the AMAZON!

The other day we were babysitting for our friends that live on the lake. Usually Ethan and the boy go fishing while the girl and I sit on the dock and ask them 2157854 questions about anything we consider slightly relevant. Well this time no one was allowed to go outside because a few days ago they spotted an anaconda sized Water Moccasin living in a log by the docks. The neighbor men are taking turns sitting by the log with a shotgun. So far no one's shot it yet.

Now does it make sense why cried over a brown recluse?! I feel like Jungle Jane!! I'm scared to go outside anymore because a snake might bite me, but inside isn't safe either because a spider might get me. AHH!

What if I get bit on the leg then I can't run then I'm miserable and stressed out because I can't relieve my stress by running, then I eat tons of ice cream and gain a lot of weight then my dress won't fit and they'll have to alter it and there won't be enough time before the wedding so I'll have to get a new one and I'll hate my wedding pictures and Ethan won't think I'm the prettiest girl he's ever met then I'll be the ugliest girl in the world. See? If that was your thought process you'd be confined to your computer chair as well.

I just need to chill. But seriously though, if I lost a leg it would be like a painter losing her hand or a singer losing her voice or a hair-stylist losing all of her scissors and combs.

If you're not a runner, you should be. It's such a great way to relieve stress or anger. If I'm mad at something or someone, I just run for a couple miles and by the end I'm usually over it. But it may not work for everyone. Some people get over things by riding horses or playing golf. To each his own I guess.

Just don't run at night or you might step on a snake.

HA, ok seriously I'm done with the snake thing now.

I did have some pretty significant dress drama. When I got my dress back in August the consultant made me get two sizes bigger than the size I wear. Now, that size is by no means big. But imagine if someone sold you your wedding dress two sizes bigger than what you wear. You'd feel terrible!! Well a few months of me secretly being stressed passed and I'm back at the shop for alterations. The alterations lady-Nadia is older, short, plump, and extremely Russian. I seriously had no idea what she was saying half the time. So I get there and I think she's telling me to put the dress on, so I go into the fitting room and put it on and come back out with it unlaced because I couldn't possibly lace it myself. I try and explain this to her and honestly I don't know what she was saying but she scootched me up onto the platform and then in very broken English I distinctly hear her say "this is not going to work." A flood of water works its way into my chest.

Me: "Uh what??"
Nadia: "Zis is vay to big."
Me (water has moved to my throat at this point): "I tried to tell the lady when I bought it. She wouldn't even let me try on the smaller size."
Nadia exits and I am left pacing back and forth working myself into a frantic. The other dress maker just exactly like Nadia only American looks up from her work.

American: "Where is Nadia?"
Me (the water has reached my eyes at this point and begins to flood out): "My dress!"
The American comes running to me and starts hugging me and telling me how I'm going to be such a beautiful bride and that it's a good thing to be tiny and my husband is just going to love it. Then pretty much everyone in the stores comes to the back and hugs me because my sobs were heard throughout. And poor Ethan is left on the other side of the curtain to wonder what's going on!

So Nadia comes back with a dress that is the size that I wear in real life, and I'm thinking this is not going to fit. Then I put it on and it's pretty much perfect, just a little bit more had to be taken off the sides! I walked back to the platform like a blossom blooming in the spring, ha! As Nadia was stabbing me with pins the manager was asking me how they messed it up so bad, apologizing, and telling me they would just exchange the sizes no additional cost.

Moral of the story, crying will get you a lot farther than angrily demanding your way. Just stay cool.