Saturday, November 6, 2010

change of season

I know.... I have been a horrible blogger.  But I am not going to apologize.  Our lives have been full, good full.  The kind where I am exhausted at the end of every day, but thankful for the moments that filled the day (and oh so thankful for our super comfortable bed).  Some of the blessings that have filled this season:

  • Bryan is finishing his last semester of the MBA program.  It is hard to believe he is almost done!  He has worked so hard and I am beyond proud of him.   
  • I am working at two wonderful schools in Norman.  I love spending time with my adorable students.  They are so full of life and joy.  I'm pretty sure they are teaching me more than I am teaching them.
  • In mid-September, my oldest cousin, Lynna, got married in Carmel, CA.  It was a gorgeous wedding on the ocean and a great weekend to share with family members we don't get to see as often as we would like.  I am so happy for Lynna and Rob. 
  • A couple weeks ago we celebrated our first anniversary.  Yes, really... a year.  I swear we were just dancing at our reception last month.  Time really does fly when you are having fun! We celebrated our anniversary and Bryan's 27th birthday (they are the same day) in Dallas.  We spent two great days just the two of us without many distractions.  Then we went to Fort Worth and spent some great time with special friends. It was a fabulous weekend!!!

  • My mom and I hosted a Halloween party at her house last weekend.  I think we may have had more fun planning the party together than the party itself!  I love spending time with my mom.  She has been blessed with the gift of hospitality.  She thinks of everything!  Which can sometimes be a problem because it is hard to do eeeeverything.  I hope to inherit this gift and show the same hospitality to family and friends.  Overall the party was a great success.  Lots of food, drinks, costumes, and laughter.
My cute dad as Carl from UP.  Best costume of the night!

Candy Bar
  • We also went to Tulsa last weekend to visit Bryan's brother, Joe and his sweet wife, Melissa.  They are such an adorable couple and we really loved the opportunity to share a couple yummy meals with them.  We only wish we could see more of them!
  • Last night I went to Irving with my book club to meet Shauna Niequist the amazing author of Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet.  She is a great writer and really speaks to my heart.  When I read her book I find myself laughing out loud, crying, and saying "YES! I knew I was not the only one."  I am so thankful for her books and my book club.
  • Today we went to Bryan's grandmother's funeral.  She passed away about a week and a half ago after a couple weeks in and out of the hospital.  I had the opportunity to spend about an hour with her in the ICU, just the two of us.  We talked, laughed, and prayed together.  I am so thankful for that hour together.  She was such an amazing woman that loved her family more than anything.
We are thankful for all that God has placed in this season of our lives.  We know big changes are ahead, but not sure of all the details.  What we do know is that God has great plans for us, and will not call us to do anything He has not already given us the ability to do.  We will keep you updated! (And NO, not a baby!!)  I will leave you with one of my favorite excerpts from Cold Tangerines that seems very appropriate for this season:

Right now, around our house, all the leaves are falling, and there is no reason that they have to turn electric bright red before they fall, but they do, and I want to live like that.  I want to say, "What can I do today that brings more beauty, more energy, more hope?"  Because it seems likes thats what God is saying to us, over and over.  "What can I do today to remind you again how good this life is?  You think the color of the sky is good now, wait till sunset.  You think oranges are good?  Try a tangerine."  He's a crazy delightful mad scientist and keeps coming back from the lab with great, unbelievable new things, and it's a gift.  It's a gift to be a part of it."  
Shauna Niequist -  Cold Tangerines

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer of Weddings

This summer has been jam packed with weddings!  I happen to love weddings so it has been pretty wonderful.  What's not to love?  You get to get dressed up, see friends (some of which you have not seen in a long time), remember those special wedding vows, cry a little, eat yummy food, drink yummy drinks, eat wedding cake (very yummy), and dance the night away!  I love how every wedding is different and each couple reflects their relationship through the details.  It's funny how you start seeing trends and one thing that people liked from one wedding and then used at their own.  Our wedding had little things that I loved from my friend's weddings, especially Grace Davis' and Sally Mitzner's.  Here is a rundown of our summer of weddings with my favorite parts of each. (I know I only have like 10 followers, but if you were at one of these wedding please comment on your favorite part!)

May 1, 2010 - Kendall Beller and Blake Porter

Get ready to see a lot of these : )

Kendall and Blake's wedding was fantastic.  I knew I would love it for several reasons: 1. Kendall loves Style Me Pretty (best wedding blog ever) 2. Rick Hall officiated the ceremony (He did our wedding as well and it was my favorite part of our whole wedding) 3. Kendall and Blake are madly in love!  And it lived up to all my expectations and more!  Kendall looked gorgeous and everything from the food, to the cake, to the band was wonderful. Thank you Kendall and Blake for inviting us to share this special day with you.
My favorite part: the cups personalized cups that turned pink with your cold beer. So fun and original!

June 5, 2010  Kendall Cunningham and Blair Speer

Kendall and Blair's wedding was a lot of fun because it was a great chance to reunite with highschool friends that I had not seen in a long time.  I had a great time catching up with everyone! Thanks Kendall and Blair!
My favorite part: The Mystery Dates. One of my high school history teachers and his wife are a part of this band and they are awesome! They do such a great job getting people on the dance floor and keep the party going all night.

June 11, 2010 - Danae VanSickle and Evan Grace

Bryan surprised me and came home for the weekend!

Bryan and Evan love one another. So cute.
Evan and Danae had their ceremony and reception at the Farmer's Market in OKC.  It is such a cool space and was really fun to not  have to drive from the church to a reception. You just picked up your chair and moved to a table. So great! The ceremony was very intimate with candles everywhere and beautful lights hanging from the ceiling.  And once the ceremony was over it quickly switched to a party! We had such a great time dancing with everyone.  Thank you, Ev and Danae, for letting us share this day with you.
My favorite part: the ceremony music.  I can't for the life of me remember what songs were playing, but I remember they gave me chills and I felt like I was in a movie. Music has such a huge role in setting the tone and I think they did an awesome job choosing their ceremony music.
While stalking I found this and melted:

June 26, 2010 - Lane Pilkington and Mike Tinsley

Lane and Mike's wedding was awesome! They had their reception at Old Town Plaza and had most of Norman in attendance. It was a blast! Great band and tons of fun people.  Thanks Lane and Mike for inviting us to party with you.
My favorite part: Dave Swafford, Frank Eskridge, Bill Coleman, and Loyd Tinsely performed a little number for Mooney and Mike as they danced the mother/son dance. They sang "In My Life" by the Beatles and had everyone rolling in laughter. See picture above.

July 10, 2010 - Keeton Hughes and Tyler Monahan

Keeton and Tyler's wedding was truly dreamy.  They had their wedding on Captiva Island, Florida.  Keeton was glowing all weekend and Tyler looked so handsome.  You could feel God's hand in the whole weekend, especially at the ceremony. It had been REALLY hot all day and we were all picturing Tyler dripping in sweat during the ceremony.  But just before Keeton walked down the aisle a cool  and refreshing breeze came through. It was really amazing how it went from "hotter than hell" to the perfect temperature in a matter of seconds.  The ceremony was followed by a gorgeous sunset and great reception. We had so much fun dancing the night away!
My favorite part: the band and dancing with the whole group. Because it was a destination wedding all of the wedding guests had the opportunity to spend time together all weekend. This made the dancing at the reception that much more fun because everyone was comfortable with one another. The band was supposed to quit at 12, but we were all having so much fun they agreed to play for another hour!

My favorite part of Bryan and I's wedding that I also heard in the Beller-Porter, VanSickle-Grace, and Hughes-Monahan weddings were the words from the book of Ruth.  Rick Hall so beautifully describes the friendship between Naomi and Ruth as a determined devotion:

"Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God." Ruth 1:16

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Concrete Jungle

Back in November Bryan received the Price Scholarship from the MBA program at OU.  This scholarship sends six students to New York City for the summer to take classes at NYU and work at an internship.  He has an internship at Blue Heron Research Partners and is living in the NYU graduate dorms. It is really an awesome opportunity and I know Bryan is learning so much.  BUT this means we are spending the summer apart. This stinks... a lot.  Like A LOT! I really don't like it. Nope, not at all.  Okay now that you know how much I don't like it, I will tell you that there are some good aspects of our current situation:

I have fallen in love with my plants. I don't have a dog, cat, or even a fish to take care of for the summer while Bryan is gone. So I take care of my plants. Yes, this is pathetic. But I just ate my first tomato last week!

I am learning to kill spiders. I do not like spiders. I do not really like bugs period (except ladybugs..I like them). All my life when a spider has entered into my personal space I have yelled and someone has killed it for me. Well, not anymore. Now when I see a spider my heart starts racing and I am instantly filled with anger that Bryan has left me for the summer.  But then I go and get the bug gun and shoot it. Then I stomp and stomp and stomp until I know it is really dead. At this point I get several tissues (need a thick layer) to pick up the guts and all eight legs. Then I flush it down the toilet just to make sure it leaves the house. Once I see it go all the way down I do a little dance like I just killed a dragon.

Bryan has had the opportunity to play golf on some awesome golf courses. I will let him blog about these experiences later because he will do a much better job!

And the best part about Bryan spending the summer in New York:  I get to visit him! I went June 16-21 and am going back July 1-5.  I had an amazing time with him on my last trip.  We ate a lot, shopped a lot, walked a lot, and spent a lot of money.  Some of my favorites were:

-The Met

-Central Park

-Stanton Social

-Baked by Melissa

-Mister Softee

But of course the best part was the time we spent time just being together.  I loved every moment I got to hold his hand and see his sweet smile.  It really blows my mind how much more in love with him I am everyday.  I thought when we got married there was no way I could love him any more than I did, but I was so wrong.  I guess that is the best part about love, you can't run out.  God created us out of love and to live lives of love.  Thank you God for the amazing opportunities you have placed in our lives, for the beautiful plants in our yard, for courage, for generous and caring people, and for loving each of us just the way we are (even the spiders-sorry about that by the way).

The Bridge Builder

June is my dad's month. He has three special days in June, therefore we just call it his month. My mom, sister and I spend all month fretting about what to buy him and how to celebrate.  We get all worked up and frustrated because every year we want to do something great and in the end we just get him a shirt, tie, random gadget, etc. And we end up just eating dinner at a nice restaurant. We always say, "Well next year we will do something better."  My sweet dad always says, "Girls, just spending time with you is the best gift." We roll our eyes and continue to feel like failures.

This June was almost like every other June, but different.  My parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on June 1st.  As usual they talked and talked about doing something big, but ended up eating at Legends.  Their wedding reception was at Legends and it has always been a special place for them.  My dad also bought my mom a new (and much larger) diamond for her ring and told her that "his love had grown." So sweet!

June 8th was my dad's birthday.  The normal fretting about how to celebrate occurred and I finally offered to cook dinner at my house.  Kellie came over and helped me prepare steaks, asparagus, potatoes, salad and banana pudding. (Banana pudding is my dad's favorite- also my Poppy Gene's) It all turned out pretty yummy and we had a great evening. I could see it in my dad's eyes how much he enjoyed a relaxed evening with our family. 

June 20th was Father's Day. I totally blew it because I was in New York visiting Bryan and missed the whole day. But a couple nights later we went to Deep Fork and had a wonderful meal.  We had a great time as a family laughing and crying (we do this in my family- a lot!) We talked about a special woman my parents met a couple months ago that passed away earlier that day.  My dad said after only knowing the woman for a few moments she told him that he was "a bridge builder."  My dad was very taken by her comments to him.  I have been thinking about "the bridge builder" and how incredibly right she was.  My dad has built many "bridges" for so many people.  He is so selfless and has built my mom, sister and I some pretty incredible bridges.  We have had so many opportunities to follow our hearts and go where we believe God is leading us.  Thank you Heavenly Father for blessing me with an incredible dad. Thank you dad, for building me so many bridges and giving me the freedom and encouragement to cross when I am ready. I love you.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Saturday I received my M.A. in Speech Language Pathology. Wahoo!  It has been a long road with many late nights studying the brain, swallowing mechanism, developmental milestones, and everything in between.  I am so excited to be done with the stress of being a student.  But now there is that part of me going "Wait, it's over.  What now?" I have a job in Norman Public Schools and will start in August.  I am super excited about this opportunity, but a little nervous about the unknown.  At least when you are a student you have a set plan with people guiding you along and telling you what to do (and exactly how to do it!) I also will miss the amazing group of women with whom I spent so many hours studying, celebrating, and complaining. (that's what you do when you are tired of studying...complain!) Here are a few pics from our banquet and graduation.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Our Little Garden

We have been blessed with grandparents that all have green thumbs. My Poppy Gene had an incredible garden in his backyard. I have such fond memories growing up helping him pick the strawberries and tomatoes from his garden.  He used to bless his neighbors, church members and family members with many fresh and delicious vegetables. Bryan's Ganny and Pop have a wonderful garden in their backyard. They work together in their garden and Ganny has even been mowing the lawn for exercise! My Poppy Frank also has a green thumb and his specialty is the rose.  He has the most beautiful rose bushes! He also tends to the rose bushes of all the women in his neighborhood as well as my mother's and now mine.  So when I told him I wanted to start a little garden he went to work! He created a wonderful potted garden for me.  I now have tomatoes, jalapenos, mint, basil, cilantro, dill and parsley growing on our back patio. Bryan and I have enjoyed the herbs on pizza, tacos, salad and looking forward to the jalapenos and tomatoes. I love tending to these plants! There is something about watching these little plants grow that makes me smile. We are so thankful so for such amazing grandparents!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Our Favorites in Februrary

Whew! I was afraid February would never end. Looking back on the month, I realize that it was a great month. It was just really cold and gray! Below are some of our favorite things in February:

Homemade Valentine Truffles:

I made the Oreo and Peanut Butter Truffles as well as Red Velvet and Yellow Cake Truffles. I tried to decorate them like a little box of chocolates. They turned out pretty cute and very tasty!

Breakfast in Bed:

I made Bryan a LOVEly Valentine's Day breakfast with heart-shaped french toast, eggs and bacon (of course). Unfortunately, Bryan heard me in the kitchen and was already out of bed by the time breakfast was ready. So, we didn't actually eat it in bed...but it was still delightful.


My sweet mom gave me one of these for Valentine's Day in red. It is super soft and according to DKNY can be worn 12 different ways:  I love it and cannot stop wearing it!

Bryan's new toy:

We had Best Buy gift cards that we were saving for a TV in the future. But, Bryan's computer was on its last leg and we agreed the gift cards could be used for a computer.  Neither one of us had ever owned a Mac, so the decision to buy a Mac was a very difficult one. The PC seemed like such a practical idea and the best for school use and Mac seemed more like a toy. After talking to many Mac owners, Bryan made the leap into the cool Mac world. We are both happy he made this decision :)

Daily Devotional:

Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His  Presence - Devotions for 
Every Day of the Year 
This year for Lent Bryan and I have made a promise to spend time reading our morning devotional together every morning. We have been using this book and have really enjoyed it every day.  I love starting each day with a reminder to recognize God's presence in my life.

Le Creuset:
Using gift cards from the wedding we purchased this 3.5 qt Le Creuset Dutch Oven. I really like it and have already used it to make vegetable soup. I hope this is something that lasts for many years!


I am not normally one to really enjoy the Olympics.... but something changed this year! It must have been the American superstars and all the gold medals. (The fact that there was nothing else to watch also may have helped a little.)  The Olympics are always the topic at the water cooler and a good excuse to cheer on the US of A. We may not be able to agree on anything in Washington, but at least we are all on the same team at the Olympics. (I think- has the Tea Party started their own Olympic Team yet?)  Yay for winning the medal count this year!

So, I guess February was a pretty great month. I can't wait to see God has planned for us in March.

Monday, February 8, 2010

What I'm Reading...

I recently finished reading Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist. It is one of my absolute favorite books on earth! The book is a series of short stories celebrating the wonderful life God has given us. Her words seem to sparkle off the page making me smile, cry and want to yell "YES!" She strives to see the blessings in everything around her, while also being honest about her struggles to do this. Her words and stories encouraged me to celebrate every day. This book has truly been a blessing in my life. Here is one of my favorite "sparkly" lines from the chapter Waiting:
      "...I choose to believe that there is nothing more sacred or profound than this day. I choose to believe  that there may be a thousand big moments embedded in this day, waiting to be discovered like tiny shards of gold." : )

Currently, I am reading The Faith Club by Ranya Idliby, Suzzane Oliver and Priscilla Warner.  These women come from different faiths: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.  They initially came together to write a children's book about their different faiths. But these women found they had a lot to discuss about their stereotypes and issues with their perceptions of these religions. I am really enjoying this book because I have never really learned about the deep seeded issues in the middle east, especially Isreal. How did I miss this in school? Why did we not learn about the creation of Isreal and the imaginary lines drawn by Great Britian that have created these huge conflicts that we (the U.S) are now trying to control? These women become great friends and find that they have more in common than they do different. Not only am I learning more about Judaism and Islam, but I am finding I am learning more about what it is that I believe.

I recommend these books to anyone willing to spend a little time looking deeper into their spiritual life. Happy reading!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Snow Day!

This is my first official post, and I have to say I am more than a little excited about it!  The second winter storm of the season is still spilling snow on our front yards, and Kate and I are blessed to be the lucky recepients of a snow day!  Yes, even 26 year-olds get excited about the prospect of a snow day or two.  We decided it would be best to weather the storm at Kate's parents house...and why not, they have all the ingredients that are essential to endure a winter storm indoors: Fireplace, check.  Movie channels, check.  Big couch and comfy blankets, check.  Pantry full of goodies, check.  Cute little puppies, check.  There is even a 5-star chef willing and waiting to prepare anything your heart desires (I recommend the chili).  Yes this is the place.  Relaxing by a warm fire, sipping wine, and watching the snow fill the trees; it's the best vacation you never planned.

The best part about today, though, is watching someone else experience their first snow day.  She's seen snow before, but today was her first chance to experience the joy of careless frolicking in winter's best little treat.   That's the thing about snow, it brings out the inner child in all of us.  So you can imagine the joy felt by a puppy who just experienced her first birthday!  Let me introduce you to my friend Maggie. 

We hope you, too, are staying safe and enjoying the many blessings God provides.  Best Love, bv