honesty.

This is my husband.

I love him. I really do. He has so many wonderful qualities. One of the things that I really love about him is his honesty. He’s one of the most honest people I know. Like, really, reallllllly, really honest……..

In part of my effort to start saving more funditos, I’m trying to ‘reinvent the wheel’ with my wardrobe. I am a clothes packrat. I still have clothes I wore in the 8th grade. I keep them, and I don’t know why. It’s not like they fit anymore. I’ll go to throw them out, and I’ll tell myself there may still be a .000001% chance that I may wear them again (Sooooooo you’re telling me there’s a chance??!?!?!? Name that movie!). So then I decide that I must keep them, in the event that the .000001% chance presents itself.

Needless to say, I have a bunch of old clothes hanging out in my closet. Instead of going out and buying new clothes, I’m trying to work with what I’ve got, whether its 28 years old or not. This isn’t really a problem for me, as I’m really not a stylish person. I’m a Target kinda gal.

Anyway, yesterday I trekked into the deepest pits of my closet and pulled out a pretty old shirt. It was actually wayyy old. I’m thinking circa 2003ish. Which would have been my junior year of high school. Is this embarrassing? Should I be telling people this?

I decided to throw caution to the wind, and go for it. This was the .000001% chance this old gem was waiting for. So I put the shirt on and went about my business.

Later, Ben came home from work. I was standing in the kitchen, and he came up and kissed my cheek and said “Wow, I really like that shirt!”

Ahh, good choice, Britt! I guess this ole’ shirt can stick around for another 10 years or so!

“Do you really like it? It’s really old, I was probably just going throw it away.”

“No! Don’t throw it away! I really like it! It’s really pretty. It makes you look like a pilgrim.”

Hmmmm. Pilgrim. Not exactly the look I was going for……

‘that’ kid.

Oh Brittany….young, innocent, naive, woman-child, Brittany. The lessons you will learn as a (rookie) mom.

Once upon a time, I was a child-less newlywed. Ben and I would often watch young parents with their young kids and offer criticisms to one another on what we thought the parents were doing wrong and how the kids were behaving like maniacs…because we had a litany of experience, obviously. Following these discussions, we’d always say something along the lines of “our kid will NEVER act like THAT”. I shall eat my words now.

I’m helping to teach a Vacation Bible School (VBS) class for infants-3 years at our church. PB goes with me, as we’ve got toys and stuff for babies. The first night, he was pretty cranky, so I blamed it on a lack of naps. So yesterday, he took a couple of good naps, and I woke him just before we left. Ben had him during fellowship time and he was smiling and laughing. Great start! I took him to snack time, and he started to get a little cranky, so I fed him. Then we rounded up the little ones and headed off to class, where PB proceeded to have a colossal MEEELLLLTDAAAOWN. I’m talking a major, arm-flailing, leg-kicking, hide under the pew, pretend he’s not your kid, meltdown. At first, I just pretended that I didn’t see or hear it. Because that always works. If you don’t see or hear the problem, its not there. Right? Hello? I was helping with crafts, so some of the other moms tried to calm him down. It didn’t help. I went over and tried to console him. I walked him around and we walked outside, and nothing seemed to be doing the trick. Finally, I graciously bowed and accepted defeat. I took him home, and stripped his clothes off and stuck him in the bath. As soon as his skinny little butt hit the water, he grinned from ear to ear and started playing in the water. Are you serious?!?#*#(&@&*

Last night, I was the parent of ‘THAT’ kid. Last night, I wanted to tell everyone at VBS that I really do try to be a good mom, despite the fact that my child was acting like a wild ninja. Last night, I wanted to hide under the pews. But, last night, I learned an incredibly valuable lesson. Last night, the old ‘don’t judge others until you walk a mile in their shoes’ saying rang true to me. All of these years I’ve passed judgement on parents for something I had NO clue about. And last night, it came back and bit me in the butt. I’m reminded of Matthew 7:3: Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

Parents aren’t perfect. Kids aren’t perfect. God didn’t intend for us to be perfect. Parents will make mistakes and kids will have meltdowns. You do the best that you can do and pray that God will give you guidance to raise your kids according to His will. It won’t be perfect, and your kids won’t be angels. Last night, as I was trying to decide if I should crawl under the pew or just go hide in the bathroom, I was reminded of all of those times I’d judged a parent or a kid for the way they acted. See, I thought babies smiled and laughed and sneezed butterflies and rainbows. Nobody told me they have massive arm-flailing, leg-kicking, hide under the pew, pretend he’s not your kid, meltdowns! You don’t see that on the Gerber commercials!

who? me? have a meltdown? ahhh c’mon, mom, i’d never do that….

random foto friday.

Ben and I are going to a wedding this weekend, and its got me reminiscing about our wedding two years ago. In honor of that happy day (and the fact that I will get to eat wedding cake this weekend), here are some of our long lost wedding pictures:

(All photos by Bert and Becky Vanderveen. Incredible photographers, by the way)




waiting for our ‘first look’ moment.

 



loooovvebirds.





my padre walking me down the ‘aisle’.



a beautiful day!





when your thighs are too big 😦

 


our venue.

 


our ‘rock the reception’ dance.



I love that boy.

little things.

Last night, I was a tad flustered. I put in a long day at work, went to class, stopped at the grocery store, and got home late to find a teething PB, a dead cow, an orphaned calf, and a hungry husband.

Yep, that’s right, we will be bottle feeding another calf. One of my cows croaked, and left her 8-day old calf behind for us to raise. I was just hi-fiving myself about saving $40 at the grocery store using my newfound couponing hobby only to walk in the door to find out I just lost about $900. Ouch. And she died because she laid her head down the hill. Isn’t that crazy? That’s happened to us so many times. A cow will lay down, and her head will be facing down a hill. She’s got so much weight behind her, that she can’t get up (hmm, reminds me of myself at 8 1/2 months pregnant). So she just lays there and and bloats (no way! too much like pregnancy) until she eventually dies (or in my case, delivers a big-headed baby). So, the point here is if you see a cow laying with her head pointed down the hill, WAKE HER UP for pete’s sake! This pointless information will come in extremely handy if you ever find yourself on a hill surrounded by sleeping cows….

Anyway, I was really starting to feel sorry for myself. I was tired, stressed, and starving and Ben was gone to get the calf. PB was crying and fussing non-stop (I feel sorry for the little guy, he’s cutting more teeth right now; we’re already up to 2 teefers!). Nothing was soothing him, so I decided to go ahead and give him a bath. I stripped him down naked, and he was still screaming. I was about two seconds away from going in my closet, turning off the lights, sitting in the corner, and sucking my thumb, when all of the sudden PB let out the loudest, longest, big boy ‘stinker’ I have ever heard. It even seemed to startle him! And then he smiled and laughed, and so did I. And then all my frustration melted away and the world was a happy place again.

If you have made it through this seemingly purposeless story of dead cows and flatulence, I commend you!But, hold fast, there is a point! How many times do we let silly little things steal our joy in life? Too often, it seems we get wrapped up in silly little things beyond our control that we miss out on all of the little blessings that God bestows upon us. I’ve heard the saying a million times: too blessed to be stressed. And how true that is! When I stress about finding time to care for a new calf, or when I worry about the loss of some money, I know that God made me for more than stress or worry. He does always take care of us, and He will always take care of us. Instead of focusing on silly little things, I want to redirect my focus onto the many little blessings He gives us each day, like a healthy little baby boy, with a healthy dose of gas………….



Ben, PB, and Ann, our other bottle-fed baby

                                    

get serious.

It’s time I got down to serious bidness about saving $$$.

To begin, I need a coupon accountability partner. Anyone?!?!??! I, as it seems the rest of America has inevitably done, watched an episode of Extreme Couponing on TLC, and decided that I have been wasting millions (okay, a couple hundred) dollars by foregoing coupons. I have decided its high time to jump on the band wagon. So, in my first rookie experience with couponing, I went to CVS and took advantage of their B1G1. I walked away with 4 men’s deordorant value packs (with small body wash) and 4 tubes of toothpaste. I spent $15 and saved $15 (duh). 50% savings, and I felt like I was the queen on the world. Ben laughed and said he didn’t even use that kind of deodorant. I smiled and thought “CHRISTMAS 2011 PRESENTS!” So then I tried again the next week, and took advantage of the extra care bucks and some coupons I had. I got a (35) pack of diapers, two dish detergents, 18 pack double roll Cottonelle toilet paper, 8 pack of paper towels, and two A&H laudry detergents (for PB) for $25, with $20 in savings. The two dye free detergents for PB and his pack of diapers alone would have been close to $20, so I’m pretty pleased. Not terrible for a rookie, but I know I need to step up my game.

Also, in keeping with my couponing, I need to master my meal planning. I’m going to set myself a goal to make out my menus for Monday-Monday, and hope that I can buy according to the weekly sales. Sounds like a novel idea. We shall see how this turns out, though. Sometimes, a girl just wants to have chocolate ice cream for supper, you know?

We bought a deep freezer over the weekend, and our veggie garden is still alive, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? So, I’m hoping to freeze alot of our peppers and corn. And hopefully we can store extra meat and things of the like when we find them on sale.

Using my infinite green thumb wisdom, I thought I bought only 2 tomato plants (because I don’t like them, and Ben eats them occasionally), but when I got home and opened the package, there were 20 tomato plants bundled together. So, needless to say, we will have lots of tomatoes. In the past, I’ve always canned them for soups and such, but we really didn’t eat them all that much. I’ve decided this year that I will attempt to can salsa and spaghetti sauce, neither of which I’ve done before. Any recipes/thoughts on canning salsa or spaghetti sauce, imaginary friends?

For our family budget, we have money specifically for food and ‘products’. My goal is to cut this bill by $100 in July by couponing, meal planning, and using the good ole’ garden food. We’ll see how it goes!

random foto friday.

Ben’s first time holding PB
The night of induction! My gosh my belly was huge…
Little PB and his juicy lips.
PB, the suave ladies man.
Our honeymoon in Kauai. Most awesome place on earth (besides home!)

My cute mamaw after we told her that we were having a baby.
I find this scenario often.
More house remodel. What a mess…..
Christmas Portrait 2011?


Good men.

Father’s Day is right around the corner, and I am so blessed to have such awesome fathers in my life. First, I am thankful for my Heavenly Father; He IS the Man, the ultimate Father. I often think how lost I’d feel if I didn’t have Him there. I take it for granted far too often that the Creator of our universe wants to spend time with little ole’ me. What a privilege that is!

 Also, a big shout out to my padre Sammy; he’ll be celebrating his 24th Father’s Day this year. He’s pretty awesome. And the older I get, the more I appreciate his quirkiness (and the fact that I’m alot like him). Sure, he may wear the same t-shirt every day (me too, actually have two of the same so I can get maximum ‘wearage’), and he may stockpile 47 bottles of ketchup in our basement (I’m stockpiling products, toothpaste, deo, cleaning supplies, etc), and he will clean every dish with a paper towel before they are actually washed in the dishwasher (I clean the floor with papertowels at least 5 times a day), but I do love that man. I’m shouting out to him like I would think he would ever read this. My dad is 48, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know how to turn a computer on. Occasionally, he’ll ask me to ‘connect him to the internet’. I guess that shows how technologically advanced he is.

This will be Ben’s first dad’s day, and I’m so pumped for him. He is an incredible dad, and it just does my heart good to watch him with PB. Ya know, I think they should also have a Husband’s Day, too. Putting up with me can’t be an easy job. I’m probably a bit partial, but I think he IS the best husband. So I think I’ll make today “Husband’s Day” on my little corner of the web world. In celebration of this major event, some reasons I love my husband:

1. He loves his Savior. It’s one of the most attractive things about Ben. Seeing Ben’s relationship with Christ inspires me to be more like that. I love that he prays with and for me. I love that he prays for Parker. I love that he spends alone time with God and that he desires to walk closer everyday. Our preacher had to be away two Sundays ago, so he asked Ben to bring the message that morning. He did such an awesome job! I am so proud of him.

2. He lets me eat first. With PB in the picture, there have been some (many) dinners in which he decides its playtime. He always seems to get fussy when we sit down for dinner. So sometimes, we’ll take turns eating while the other tends to the bald guy. Ben always lets me eat first. I think he does this for two reasons. 1. I eat fast. I’m not kidding. I could have a full meal in less than 3 minutes. That can’t be healthy. And 2, he does it to keep our marriage intact. I am a somewhat unhappy individual if my stomach is empty.

3. He lets me dream. I’m such a dreamer, and my mind runs at full capacity all hours of the day. I have all sorts of crazy ideas, and Ben listens to each and every one (or at least pretends that he does). He gives me so much support.

4. He makes me laugh everyday. His adjustment to life in the country has been so fun to watch, as I’m sure my attempts on his surfboard have been equally funny to him.

5. He’s a family man. I guess you never have a way of ‘knowing’ whether or not your husband will be a family man until you have kids, really. I always knew Ben would be a great dad, but I guess I didn’t have that proof until we had PB. I love that he loves spending time with us.

I’m a lucky, lucky girl to have such awesome fathers in my life.

Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful dads out there.

And Happy Husband’s Day to my Ben. We love you 🙂