Monday, February 25, 2008

Fun Weekend!

Recap of our crazy weekend:

  • I met with Premier to sign the papers and become "officially" employed. Yay!!
  • B and I drove to F.Dub to see Jacci and Scarlett and their super cute house!! Our dogs became friends (kinda) and we got to see Scarlett on the verge of teething!!! And we even got to see Mr.Grannis :) SOOOO good to see you Sexy, even though it was only for a short time!
  • Ames and I went to a SUPERRRR fun karaoke bar and I sang a duet with her ex. hahahaha. AWESOME.
  • Brian and I got up earlyyyy to drive to Sherman to see his cousin's kid play some bball. Like..the kind where they don't even keep score because they're so young. SO cute. He's a little stud. His cousin is in the process of being divorced by his wife (a sad evil, SELFISH woman), so keep them and their 3 kids in your prayers!!
  • We stopped through McKinney to see Blake, Angela, and little 2-week old baby Colt!!! OHHHmygoodness. Adorable and awesome. He weighed about as much as a loaf of bread. I've never held a human that was crazy!
  • Saturday night I went to Hoog's bach'ette partay in DT D-town and it was GREAT to see some old friends!!
  • I later met up with B, AMers and a million of her friends at a bar in Dallas where she everyone was celebrating her 25th bday bash!!! SO fun :) The owner of the bar was a track stud @ Texas in the 90s and so he's OBSESSED with UT athletes. He had decorated the entire place with orange balloons and has framed UT posters and pictures adorning every wall. It felt like we were back in the ATX. LOVED it!
  • Basically, lazy bum day because we got NO sleep all weekend! It felt like we were back in college :) FUN weekend full of fam & friends! :)
Hope everyone had a great weekend, whether it was eventful or relaxing. Oh, and for the record, I think I am officially getting kind of old. I have been EXHAUSTED all day. I used to live that allll the time and didn't even blink. Sad revelation.

UPDATE on my job: I STARTED TODAY AND I'M OBSESSED!! I am SO SO excited to start training my own clients!! I was feeling a bit nervous last week, but after being re-exposed to the world of personal training, I canNOT wait! Thank you guys for your encouragement and prayers and all that jazz :)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Oprah, Obama, & Prayer...

Pray for Oprah. And for Obama. These two have been weighing on my heart and mind lately! Pray for the TRUTH!

God is powerful, and so is prayer. So, let's use it!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Love, Joy, Peace, PATIENCE...

Not having a job has been pretty frustrating at times. I CHOSE to quit my previous job, so that I could take the time and consideration needed to find the right place of employment. However, it has taken MUCH longer than expected! (I know, I know...God is in control, not me.) I always say I'm one of those people who is MUCH more productive when I'm super busy. When I have too much free time on my hands, it's like...I don't know what to I do nothing but think about what to do! sad/pathetic.... Being busy and having a jam-packed day is my comfort zone. In my world, there's no such thing as a to-do list with less than 15 bullets.

I never really thought this was a bad thing, but it has really been an issue this last month. Some days I have to work REALLY hard to convince myself to find SOMETHING productive to do instead of just sitting around and WISHING I had something useful to job perhaps?? Anyway, last night in the shower I was thinking about how I can't wait to find a church home so that I can be fed and lifted up and equipped to go into the world! And that made me think about how I can't wait to find a that I can once again be around people everyday. I've always felt that God has gifted me in ways that are most useful when I'm around a lot of people. Right now, I have no medium for reaching people. No circle of influence in this place. It's a frustrating feeling because I feel like I am not able to serve God in the ways that I want to ...and in the ways that I have known.

That got me to thinking about how I have felt a little bit like I'm flailing in my spiritual life. I'm not in the midst of some blatant spiritual warfare that is weighing on my heart every second...I just feel a little stagnant. In thinking so much about DOING, I have neglected myself. It's funny to think that neglecting myself is actually a very SELFISH thing. God has given me this time of few commitments, and I have not made it useful to Him. What I have seen as an unfortunate situation is really a BLESSING from God. Not once in this last month have I just busted out my bible, sat in silence and said, "okay God, show me somethin..." I have been too caught up in being "bored." How pathetic am I? I don't know WHY it took me this long to realize that I am being blessed with the gift of time. AN AMAZING gift whose face I have RARELY seen in my life. When I don't have it, I LONG for that I have it, I have been completely blind to see it. Stupid Satan... always making me feel dumb for falling for your little tricks.

Thank You Lord for not giving up on me!

Anyway, a shout out to my Awesome Father who, once again, has humbled me, blessed me and been miiighty patient with me!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Storrrrrmy Monday...

So, this weekend's storm obviously didn't take place on a Monday, but everytime it storms I think of that song for some reason...

We spent the weekend in Lufkin with Brian's parentals and Granny. We hadn't seen them since Christmas!! We basically just sat around, watched TV, ate, sat around some more...but it was great to see them! Granny made some DELISH Pecan Pie for us... which is the only kind of pie I really like...and she even gave me the recipe! I'll let you know how that goes... ;o) We came back in time to go to church in Tyler on Sunday morning since we're still anxious to find a church home. In regards to the church of choice for the week: One of us liked it. One of us didn't. Sooo...we're still in search-mode!! PLEASE add that to your prayer lists if you don't mind :) We would be SOOO grateful!

I had my "official interview" with Premiere on Thursday, and it went SO well! I am STOKED to start working there :) It is a great place run by people with a heart for God. They basically look at their gym as a ministry first and a gym second. Pretty cool. Again, I'll devote a whole post to my experience with Premiere in the near future! THANKSSSS for your prayers you guys. Seriously. You are awesome and I love you guys <3>

Moo...GET BETTER!! Momma...GET BETTER!! Ames...GET BETTER!! I feel like everyone I know has the flu...I'm keepin my fingers crossed that me and my boo don't get it (highly unlikely since he is in and out of germ-infested clinics all day!) Everyone, get LOTS of sleep, consume huge quantities of Vit.C, and be healthy so your immune system can stay in hardcore protective mode!!

Last random thought: I am REALLY sad that Oprah is getting her own network. Actually, I take that back. I think that's awesome. I like Oprah. She's a stud. And her network will probably inspire a LOTTT of people. HOWEVER, I find it incredibly upsetting that those doing her dirty work have chosen to replace DiscoveryHealth with OWN(Oprah Winfrey Network). NOT COOL. and NOT necessary. Why not take some stupid reality shows off the air instead of useful and interesting shows like Diagnosis:X and Untold Stories of the ER??? Oprah needs to rethink this issue big time!

Okay, I'm done. Love you all! Hope your weekend was terrific!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The First Annual Bradford Love-Day Celebracion!

Brian and I had a low-key V-day...which I like :) He worked, I had class, so we left the celebrating to be done in the evening. Actually... I planned to make him his FAVVV breakfast in bed. But we were both SPENT, so we just kinda slept in together. It was nice :) My DeLicIoUs eggs benedict will just have to wait til another day...

Anyway, I made Brian some yummy Valentines choc/PB cookies, he brought home my FAV wine (and chocolate of hub knowsss the way to my heart!) and we ate a DELISH (and partial leftover) dinner by YUMMY VANILLA candlelight. We took an hour out of our night to take the Kerbster to puppy class, then curled up in bed to watch "No Reservations" and called it a night!
Oh, my parentals sent us a cute little V-day package (I am happy to know that tradition will continue through my married years!) that EVEN included a little V-day present for Kerbelicious!
V-Day was a Good one. Hope everyone felt super-loved!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Deep in the Heart of Texas...

Oh, how I miss Austin, Texas. We had SO much fun being back there this weekend!! On Friday night we went to the musical GREASE, performed by Dripping Springs High School to see my little sissy play SANDY!!! She totally rocked. I was so proud of her :) Then, Dan gave us a tour of the new galleria in Bee Caves...I LOVE IT!!! I'm so jealous that it got fininshed (OF COURSE) right after we left! I would DEF recommend Mimi's Cafe...DELISH! and the gelato place, for sure!

Saturday was an ABSOLUTE blast! The three of us (Brian and I stayed with Dan at a SWEET house where he is currently residing in Spanish Oaks) played with Kerbey all morning and then we went down the road to the pretty little fishing hole to,! Kerbey loved being out there. And the weather was amazing! It was the perfect morning :)
Fishing on Sat morning, pretty huh?
Later we met some friends at Zilker for some sand vball (GOSH I miss that!) and Brian and I both got a bit of a FEBRUARY! (yes, that's how pale I am right now.) It felt amaaaazing to be out in the WARM sun! I <heart> Zilker Park.
Post-vball @ Zilker (w/Magen's pup, Sport)

Bistro was SPENT! was Kerbs :)

Daniel+Amy's extensions=Mullet Man!

Later that night 8 of us went to dinner at Trudy's (still a definite fav) and then the girls and guys each went their separate ways. Girls' night was way fun. Tbaby, Moo, Banana, Eli & I spent the majority of the night just sitting on a big comfy couch at Halcyon sippin on lattes and chit-chatting the night away. I loved it. I was the official chauffer, so after I dropped everyone off at their cars, Hannah and I sat in the parking lot and had great convo. I MISS MY BANANA!! Gooood night :)
4 of my favs <3

Brian and I were 100% ECSTATIC to be back at Lake Hills!!!! Oh my goodness...seriously. We miss that place like you would NOT believe. Finding a church has def presented a challenge for us here in Tyler, but we have faith that we will find our place in time :) It was great to see all of the familiar faces, hear AWESOME Mac preach it, and to hear the Mark Grutas Band rock it out. We invited Brian's old boss and his new wife to church with us (which was pretty awesome) and then went to lunch with them where we found out some AMAAAZING news!!! A prayer we've had for YEARS was in the process of being answered in a super INCREDIBLE way :)

This weekend reminded me how much I really miss the CITY OF AUSTIN! Gosh...that place is just awesome. It's so easy to be outside allll the time because it was CREATED for outdoorsy people. I love it. As much as we loved being in Austin, it always feels good to walk back into OUR home and plop on OUR couches :) Dan...thanks for being an awesome host!!!

Hope everyone else had an awesome weekend! Thanks for the prayers about the meeting last went pretty well and um...was interesting. I'll fill you in SOON, promise!


Thursday, February 7, 2008

I got a degree!! that I could go BACK and do it alll over again :)

So I quit my job a few weeks ago at APEC. I loved it, but I had no role in the program development, so it got PRETTY boring. Plus, I wasn't being paid NEARLY enough for someone with a college degree :) Anyway, I've been job-searching for a couple of weeks now and have been trying to steer clear of the most popular gym in Tyler, Premier Fitness. I'm really not even sure why. I have discovered something strange about myself: At times, I try to take the less popular path simply for the sake of NOT being a part of the majority. I'm not sure why... I just find myself doing it sometimes. DUMB/POINTLESS.

Okay, so despite my greatest efforts to avoid this modern, cool, forward-thinking gym, Premier keeps shoving its way back into my path. I've been almost there with 3 different gyms now, and then things just don't end up as they originally appeared they would. Hmm...I can't COUNT the number of times in my life that God has hit the brakes hard on MY plans, knocked me on my butt, and redirected me onto HIS path. THANK YOU LORD for keeping me in line. It's frustrating at times, but I mean, DUH. I am SO down with your plans for me, whatever they are....I just have to wander around for a while in search of them sometimes :)

Okay, so basically I've put forth a bit of effort to talk with the head trainers at Premier, but to no avail. I took in my application, but they were too busy to see me. I took in my resume...again, they were too busy to see me. I've called in, but they were in meetings. I even contacted a friend of a friend (their marketing director) and HE tried to hook me up with the head trainers, but they didn't call me back. I DO NOT enjoy being pushy. I feel like a total nuisance...and kind of stupid. It hurts my pride a little to have to try so hard I guess :) (Good lesson for me to SHED MY PRIDE!) Well, on Tuesday I just took it upon myself to stalk the owner and dig up his email address and... I shot him an email. I sent him a long and pretty impressive email if I do say so myself :) He emailed me back immediately, and now I'm meeting with him tomorrow right after my lab! YIIPPPEEEE!!!! Now, I can't say that this guarantees me a spot on Premier's payroll, but it is DEF a step in the right direction :) So...say a little prayer that all goes well! I really want to be a part of the things they're doing at Premier!!

PS- I am officially a student again. I'm taking a class at TJC this semester, (a pre-req for nursing school) and I had my first exam today! I am 99.8% sure that I got an "A". SWEEEEET. I know it's sick, but I really do miss being a student! It feels soooo good to be feeding my brain with yummy biological information again! I am bound and determined to turn in my nursing school application with a bright and shiny 4.0 at the top!!

Tomorrow, I have a lab early in the morning, then I meet with
Cune (the Premier owner, and no, I have NO IDEA how to pronounce his name!), and then Brian and I are HEADED TO AUSTYYYYYY!!!! I am 100% delighted to be heading back to my fav city in Texas!! Have a terrific weekend everyone!
Look out Austin...More Rox & T-baby adventures coming soon :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Love Letter from Our Father

This is one of my favorite things, and I just stumbled it across it for the first time in FOREVER! The first time I saw it was when I led a class at the Girls Reflecting Glory Conference @ FCCC... I fell inn LOVE with it then, but lost my copy of it soon afterwards. It's a reallyyy cool thing to read each day to remind ourselves just how AMAZING The Love of Christ is!!

You may not know me, but I know everything about you... Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up... Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways... Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered... Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image... Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being... Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring.... Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived... Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation... Ephesians 1: 11-12
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book... Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live... Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made... Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother's womb... Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born... Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me... John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love... I John4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you simply because you are my child and I am your father... 1 John3:1
I offer you more than your earthlyparents ever could... Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father/mother... Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand... James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs... Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope... Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love... Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts towards you are countless as the sand on the seashore... Psalm 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing... Zephania 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you... Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession... Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul... Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things... Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me... Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart... Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires... Phillipians 2:13
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine... Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager... 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father/Mother who comforts you in all your troubles... 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you... Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close you my heart... Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes and will take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth.... Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus... John 17:23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed... John 17:26
He is the exact representation of my being... Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you... Romans 8:31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins... 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that I could be reconciled... 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you... I John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love... Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen... Luke 15:7
I have always been your Parent, and will always be your Parent... Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is ... Will you be my child? John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you ... Luke 15:11-32

Justin & Kendall's Journey: Adopting an Ethiopan baby!!

Brian and I recently learned that some friends of ours, Justin & Kendall Smith, are beginning the process to adopt a little boy from Ethiopa! They have asked for prayer throughout this adoption, which is sure to be a long, and sometimes frustrating one.
HOW EXCITING!!! Follow the jump to view their blog and learn more about their journey!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Bowl Weekend!!

Super Bowl weekend is usually something I REALLY look forward to and get super excited about! This year, however, when both the Colts AND the Cowboys lost on the same excitement about the Super Bowl completely dissipated. Of course, we still went out to celebrate Super Bowl Sunday. Not even a game between two teams that neither of us like could stop us from that :) As the game began, I was undecided about who I was for. I have NEVER been a Patriots fan. Belichick rubs me the wrong way. So does Tom Brady. I can't say I dislike them because I don't pay enough attention to either to know much about them as people. Anyway...I'm just not a fan. And Rodney Harrison bugs the crap out of me too. The only Patriots I like are Tedy Bruschi and Wes Welker. Plus, the whole Spygate sitch definitely didn't improve the Patriots' image in my eyes. Thennn we have the Giants. Not an Eli fan, not an Eli hater. Just have never paid much attention. Tom Coughlin always seemed mean. And...why would I ever cheer for New York anyway? There are about 30 other teams in the NFL I would rather cheer for.

Well, as the game started, I found myself cheering unequivocally for the Giants. And by the end I couldn't stay seated and was actually NERVOUS! Who woulda thought I could possibly care that much. It turned out to be a really fun game to watch! And afterwards we played "Screw Your Neighbor"...a card game involving little to no strategy OR brain activity, haha. Then, we let the boys play spades and the girls just sat and talked about hair, weddings, memories from each of our bachelorette parties, and all things girly :) A weekend that started off in a pretty frustrating way (see below) turned out to be a blast!


On Friday night, Brandon and Kelley came to stay with us because they were in town for a fam function. We hadn't gotten to hang out with them in forev, so it was a blast, although we stayed up wayyyy too late! B and Brandon played PS3 allll night long, so now Bistro wants one (we'll see how long I can hold out!) So, Friday morning Brian had to get up early for work and I had to get up early for my Dallas-Day plans to see Jennybenny and Sexy. All went as planned, until I realized that Brian had accidentally taken the keys to BOTH CARS with him! Bummerrrrr. He felt TERRIBLE, but I ended up studying for the tests I have this week. So...I guess it all worked out for the best. I'll have resched D-Day for some other weekend in Feb!

On Saturday Brian and I slept LOTS during the late afternoon and then just kinda hung out. It was relaxing and nice to get some things done around the house. For dinner Brian provided me with my first Mexican Buffet experience. I was miiiighty skeptical, but it was delish! Unfortunately I think each trip to the buffet was comprised of at LEAST 600 calories. We made 6 trips. FATTIES....but at least we're happy fatties :)

Sunday we went to Green Acres and found an AWWWWESOME class (FINALLY!) The couples were all really cool and humble and open-minded. It was a self-taught class and the style was just and applicable. We LOVED it! It reminded us of Lake Hills. The only catch: they all have like...8-year-old kids!! So...I guess they're kind of in a dif phase of life than us. We'll see what we end up deciding, but regardless of where we end up, it was SOOO REFRESHING to be there! We spent the next couple of hours driving around looking at houses. There are a MILLION new really nice neighborhoods going up in Tyler. They say it's supposed to double in size in the next 5-10 I guess we hit at the right time! We're soooo excited and anxious to get moving on our house search! I'm pumped to live in our first house together!!
A couple of pics:

My fav 2 golfers in the whole wide world!! :)

Our cute little PEE-FACE in timeout approx. 7 min ago.

Anyway, I hope everyone had an awesome weekend! Can't waittt to go to Austin this upcoming weekend. Love to all :)

Friday, February 1, 2008

President, Shmesident

I'm sooo happy that another weekend has arrived!! And it has started early for me and Bistro! He finished work WAY early today so he came home for lunch and our weekend has now officially begun! We weren't able to watch the Democratic Presidential Debate last night, so we recorded it and are watching it as we speak. Interesting stuff...

Speaking of democrats...I feel like I am severely lacking an understanding of where I stand politically. I have strong opinions about a few issues, and then on others I have too abstract an understanding of what the REAL effects of a particular decision would be. I have never been able to classify myself as either a Republican or a Democrat. I credit that partially to my lack of political knowledge, and partially to the fact that I don't see eye-to-eye with either "side". Plus...I just can't stand "choosing sides". Choosing one side or the other is just... so definitive and concrete. How can you have such a concrete opinion on something sooo complicated and involved? It sucks. Anywho, this year we are giving a sincere effort to educating ourselves on the candidates and trying to choose wisely and with Godly discernment.

I threw the following hypothetical situation at Brian the other day:

There are 2 presidential candidates whom you are trying to decide between.

Candidate #1- You agree pretty soundly with his/her stance on each of the "hot topic" issues. He/She plans to make changes that you truly believe will benefit our country, our economy, our healthcare system, etc. However, you have no idea where this candidate stands spiritually.

Candidate #2- You do not necessarily agree with all of this candidate's ticket positions, however you know that he/she is a Christian who has made his/her faith and relationship with God very clear.

Who do you vote for?

At first, I thought this was a reeeeaally juicy question. How in the world do you, as a Christian, choose? I feel like my desire to have a president who will make changes to provide aid for the less fortunate (in terms of jobs, taxes, healthcare...) is motivated by The Holy Spirit living in me. Didn't Jesus help the less fortunate ALL THE TIME while He was here on this earth? Doesn't God love and cherish the poor? Doesn't he say to love you neighbor as yourself? So...shouldn't I want to do everything in my power to help those who I believe are in need? And...does that include voting for a president who I believe offers the most effective solution for helping them?

Well...then after I asked the question I thought, "Wait a sec...DUH! Vote for the man you KNOW is a Christian. OBVIOUSLY. A Christian president will seek the Lord's guidance in His decisions. If the spirit lives in him then He has access to an impeccable moral compass. 'If God is with you, who can be against you,' right??" Anyway, this whole thought process has just really made me feel burdened with the duty of not only choosing my presidential vote, but the duty of understanding the issues at hand & what steps I can take to move towards a better situation on this earth. I know that The Love of Christ motivates these desires in me...the desire to help make the world better...the desire to spread love to any and everyone I possible can...and I guess politics have a place in there somwhere. But I just can't get it all figured out in my head.

I DESPISE the thought of getting overly caught up in the propaganda that DEFINES a presidential campaign (or any political campaign for that matter), but I want to be educated too. Sometimes I feel like it's a waste of time, though. Do I need to be more focused on my own personal efforts to continually dedicate myself to God's work on earth instead of worrying about someone else?

AH. Politics intrigue me and drive me NUTS all at the same time! rant is over. That helped me to get my thoughts kind of ironed out a little bit. I apologize to anyone who just had to read that! However, any input is 150% welcomed and invited!