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 know...money ;) ...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 brain...mom 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.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


When you are engaged, in school, and working--your blog gets neglected.

On a side note: NEVER buy Great Value toilet paper, it doubles as sandpaper. It's super tempting though, because it's listed at 97cents....that's not even a dollar! Don't be deceived. Honestly, I think there should be fitting rooms for toilet paper. I like to know before I even waste 97 cents if this toilet paper is going to leave me standing for an hour. :) It's the Todd in me. Penny pincher, regular bathroom user.

Well, school is out for the summer! Every time I say that Alice Cooper's "Schools Out" starts playing in my mind. Probably because it was a tradition in Iowa, when we came home from school on the last day dad would blast it from the computer while we danced around. Then he would run to the calendar flip to August and circle the day we had to go back! Summer was unfair to him, all three of us girls got to lounge around while he was up early at IBP. I'll probably have a count down to the end of summer when I'm a mom and working a full time job, not as a teacher.

Ethan says I would be a mean teacher. HA! I think I would be a mean________ fill in the blank with any career option....I'm just kidding. Since I met Ethan I've learned that you just can't be mean to people! And then I changed my name to Tandy. I'm just kidding. (It's a Bible joke, I was reading the Beginner's Bible Story Edition last night while we were babysitting....Saul was mean, then he became nice and changed his name to Paul.) Ethan says this probably because when he doesn't understand something or is working through a problem I'm standing over his shoulder saying things like "HA! You can't do THAT! Your determinant would be ZERO! HA!" I guess I just need a more gentle approach.

So we met this family and now we babysit for them almost once a week, that's where I was reading that Bible. It's almost like they adopted us and we now have a little brother and sister and are one big happy family. Last night we went canoeing....it was a disaster. The little girl has a cast on her arm and was afraid of getting it wet the whole time, I was afraid of a spider crawling on me, Ethan and the boy were just trying to fish, while the whole time we kept crashing into the bank because my twiglet arms aren't strong enough to paddle a canoe of four people. Whenever Ethan put his fishing pole down and started paddling it was really quite enjoyable. :)

They remind me so much of my little cousins in Iowa. I got to thinking about last year and how sad sad sad I was that I was in my favorite place in the whole world, without my favorite person in the whole world. Lack of the favorite person makes the favorite place sad and lonely. But thankfully this summer we are located in the same town, and getting married!! EEEEEEE! :D :D :D Next month!!!

Ethan is my best friend in the whole world! I love him AND I like him.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Exist. Live.

3 months til the big day!!! I am so happy, I cry a little bit...but it's one of those crys where you smile the whole time, and you dont actually have tears, your eyes just get really red because you're so stinkin' thankful to be so blessed.

Love makes you cry ya know? Or my dad wouldn't get teary-eyed every time I leave for Conway again!

I'm not a basketcase! Just sooo blessed, I get emotional about it.

So if you see me running on Salem trail, with red eyes and a HUGE smile on my face its because I'm listening to praise music, doing one of my favorite things (running), and thinking about how much I love ethan and my family, and his family! :)

So, I haven't blogged in over a month because I have been so busy with school and work and wedding planning that I haven't had a chance to blog about anything cool!!

I still LOVE my job. Seriously, best job I've ever had. But I am so thankful that I worked at VisionCare. Even though I was miserable and came home crying everyday...it really thickened up my skin! I'm not as easily offended anymore and I learned some characteristics and qualities that make a work environment stronger and some that make a work environment vicious and miserable. Now I can easily distinguish between the two and can avoid things that aren't beneficial!

But Acxiom has been great, I love working with the people I work with. We're a team! We're not out to destroy each other!

Anyway yesterday some of the ladies were talking about their friends who have jobs other places that require them to get up at 5am and stay at the office until late, and really their lives are their jobs. They aren't living, they're existing until Saturday.

What a sad life, not to live, but to exist.

It got me thinking....here we go again!!......

In our relationships with God are we living or existing?

Are we trudging through the week until Sunday when we can have an emotional worship set with God?

Or are we living every day of our week with Him?

Jesus said: "The thief comes only to steal kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the fullest." John 10:10

"Remain in me, and I will remain in you." John 15:4

Woop woop! What good news! I don't want to exist, I want to live! Because he came so I may have life to the fullest simply by remaining in Him!! Everyday life, everyday joy, not in emotions, but by His very Word!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Happy Valentines Day!

While all of my girlfriends got diamonds and roses, I got a goldfish and a cactus!!

And THAT is why Ethan is perfect for me, he knows I'm not a diamonds and roses kinda gal, I'm a cactus and goldfish kinda gal. (Yes Mom and Dad, I will take care of this one and it won't end up in your garage, Promise!)

Actually, I got cactus seeds and sweet pea seeds...Now Ethan is calling me Cactus Jane and his Sweet Pea, and I'll have plants to represent his love for me. Sometimes I'm prickly like a cactus and sometimes I'm sweet like a pea. But predicting my phases at any given moment is about as easy as predicting the moon's phase at any given moment (see you'd have to Google that or look on your calendar!) which is why he also calls me Luna.

Speaking of the moon, I am so tired!! I love sleeping, it's seriously my number one hobby. You could say I am the queen of sleep. But lately I've been having nightmares every night!!! Which got me thinking. As Children of God we are promised good sleep, did you know that?!

Proverbs 3:24
when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Psalm 4:8
I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

I think that covers nightmares as well as insomnia. So start declaring sweet sleep over your nights, because you've already been promised it!

For Valentine's day Ethan took me to this little hibachi grill in LR. Benihana's or something. I am terrified of hibachi grills!!! Seriously, not my idea of a good time. I hate fire, I hate knives, especially when they're being flipped, and I hate being teased by someone I can't understand. Thankfully, our cook barely even talked to us, so I could enjoy my night.

On the way home while we were jamming out to Jesus Culture, my new favorite band :) I got to looking out the car window, and you know when that happens I'm about to realize something profound. And sure enough, this time was no exception.

I'm going to tell you even if you don't want to hear.

My thought processes: (a peak inside Brandy's brain)
Me and Ethan are about to be really poor
Dad and Mom used to be really poor
Dad used to work for MCI, they were poor then
I'm so glad he got that job at IBP (Iowa Beef Processors, Iowa Beef and Pork, I am Bob Peterson, no one really knew what it stood for)
I am so glad Tyson bought IBP and Dad is so awesome he was one of the few selected to move
Did I just say I'm glad we moved?
*glance at Ethan, drumming on the steering wheel*
Yeah, I'm glad we moved.

OMG! John Tyson didn't know this, but when Tyson bought IBP it was because God needed us to move to Arkansas because I needed to meet Ethan here. John Tyson, you did it all for me!!!!!

Moral of the story, our steps are ordered. Every teeny tiny step is ordered.

What if Dad had picked a different major, taken a different job??? Well, I mean, somehow everything in God's plan would've still worked out, but are you getting this?!?! Things that we don't think matter, DO!! Things that we think matter, matter more than we think!!

Everything happens for a reason :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Gum Gum Plans Plans


I got an awesome new job that I should definitely tell everyone about.

It's at Acxiom. And while I know my wonderful boss Danielle from church, I was still quite nervous about starting. Mostly that I wouldn't be smart enough, we'll see.

(These events may be slightly out of order)
So I get there on Monday, and I walk in and there is chocolate cake! Yes!! I LOOOOVE cake!!! And chocolate!! So, pretty much I could've been hit by a train and stiill would've liked the job, I just hope there's chocolate cake everyday.

Anyway, next they take a terrible picture of me and stick it on a badge that I have to wear ALL THE TIME, fantastic, and it lasts until the end of my career there. Maybe when I'm 40 I'll think it's a good picture, but for some reason, my cheeks look extra chubby in it.

Next they show me my awesome cube!!! Ok, I know it's weird to get excited about a cube, but I saw where my dad keeps his interns..........ha just kidding :) but kinda seriously. It's more than just a tiny desk at the end of a cube row!!

I got a laptop to work from home with, a headset to answer my phone with, sometime I'll start working right?! ;)

All of the excitement of the week got me thinking. How many times (in the past year alone) have I been devastated by people that I thought controlled my destiny!? *Slightly random, I know, but it will make sense, or maybe just in my brain*

How many times in our lives have we let people get the best of us? Getting let go by an employer, not getting accepted into the school of our choice, etc etc and the like.

I just get so torn up about stuff like that, it's like "HELLO BRANDY!! these people don't control your future, God does"

I didn't get laid off or rejected because I'm not good enough or smart enough, NO! It's because God has a different plan, and He's trying to make it more obvious to me.

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Keep that in mind if you're going through a transition right now and it feels out of your control.

Now, I am seriously craving some ice cream, brownies, cookies, chocolate cupcakes and gum. And some guitar/singing praise songs with Ethan.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Snow Stories

Conway finally got snow! If you can call it that. Arkansas snow, well southern/central Arkansas snow, comes and leaves usually within 24 hours; so I don't know if you can really call that snow.

To me, for snow to be "snow," there must be at least 3 inches, it must be pure, none of this misty drizzle business, and it must be on the ground when you wake up a minimum of 2 days in a row.

I don't want to burst anyone's snow bubble so I'm going to tell a few stories about when we lived in Iowa and we had real snow....and it was miserable 90% of the time......

As most of you probably don't know, there are like 2 hills in the entire state of Iowa. I mean decent sledding hills. I felt a pang in my legs just now as I'm remembering running four miles up hill down hill last summer, so there are some small hills, but 2 big hills.

One of them is at a public park. Silver Sioux. It should be treacherous lightening death hill sioux. When my parents were teenagers it was an inner-tubing hill, and there was a lift that carried the sledders back to the top. I mean, this bad boy is probably a good quarter mile of steep steep steep. Now, it's a quarter mile of steep steep thorn bushes with a tiny little trail, just barely big enough for a sled. In good snow, the thorn bushes are covered; however, the more people that sled, the more uncovered the thorn buses become. Last winter, under 40 inches of snow, it would've been impossible to even get there, let alone sled. But this past December was kinder and we enjoyed several afternoons on the hill.

Imagine. 10 degrees outside (probably colder, but I don't want you Arkansans to have a brain freeze), trudging up this hill with bearskin army snow pants, a marshmallow coat, a ski mask, a scarf wrapped several times around your mouth and nose, carrying a Laura Ingalls style toboggan....gasping for air, chest pains...why is it so hard to breath? Are you really this out of shape? No, unwrap the scarf a couple times to let some air flow (yeah sometimes I wonder if I even have a brain) :D
You get to the top of the hill and it is a looonngg way down. That red circle marks the landing spot!
Now you get on the sled, Rylee, You, Bryce, in that order. And fly. You are going so fast you can't even breath, let alone scream. The only sound is the wooden tobaggon scraping over the thorns...and the next thing you know, Rylee flips over you and Bryce flies off behind you, and you are on your back on the ground, the ice cold snow scooping into your coat, gloves, and pants as you race, headfirst the rest of the way down the hill. Finally, you slow to a stop, and don't know whether to laugh or cry. You sit up, get oriented, look around for your companions. Rylee's halfway up the hill, Bryce about in between you guys. Then you realize "WHERE IS THE SLED?!" In a panic you begin to search, until Rylee finds it, along with her stocking cap, deep inside a thorn bush. And all of a sudden, that wet feeling on your back is slightly comforting, and your happy it's not bloody thorns.

Moral of the story, the state of Iowa needs to clean up their park!!

Nothing can compare with last winter though. 40 inches. 6 foot snow drifts. INSANITY. I have seen nothing like it. Thankfully, I have a totally awesome family and everyone had fun.

Snow makes some of the best memories, some of the best bonding times, so while Conway has this snow, everyone should get outside and have fun in it :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Love love love love

blahhhblahhhblahhhh. blog. I am most in the mood to blog after a good run. Outside. Probably because running makes me forget about all the bad things in life and focus on nature, God, Ethan, my family. And that puts me in the mood to write!

So, I no longer work at that *wonderful* place, Visioncare. Praise the LORD! I have found myself happier, relaxed, and friendlier. Mom is right, you have the rest of your life to hate your job, so save it for when you're older.
I got an internship at Acxiom!! WOOHOO! That means, my future (job wise outside of college) is looking bright. And we will be able to stay in this fantastic little town for as long as we want!

I am convinced that all good relationships have some element of argument to them. Especially at the start. Don't get me wrong, Ethan is perfect. He is right 98% of the time. He is completely trustworthy and most importantly, he is my best friend. Sometimes, we'll be doing things like riding our bikes to get ice cream, laughing the whole way, and its hits me, "Ethan is my best friend! OHHH and I get to be with him forever!!!" SO COOL, marrying your best friend that is.

And sometimes he is just plain difficult. I would say 1.5% of the time, that is. We'll be working on our math homework together and we'll come up with different answers. Now, I know I said he is right 98% of the time, but come on! I'm the math major here. It'll take 2 minutes of me beating him on the head with the textbook for him to realize that I am actually right.

There's a healthy balance. Difficulty 1.5% of the time, perfection 98.5%.

I always look back on the day at the airport. Difficult times, and perfect times. When we met in a crowd of 100 people all moving in the same direction. He threw his suitcase down on the floor, picked me up and hugged me like he never wanted to let go. And then my DAD got teary-eyed. Yes folks, that's how you know you've got the "one", when your dad gets teary-eyed watching you hug in reunion at an airport with 483092574 people around.

BAHH I just love Ethan so much and I can't wait to marry him in 5 months :)

I prommmise after we get married my blogs will be funny again, instead of sappy and mushy.

Until then......