Memorial Day



I checked out this park this week and took a few photos, but there's something to taking your best friend to  new spots. So this morning, we hiked out on a little walk. It was a grey day, which left us both in a little bit of a funk, but getting some fresh air and being surrounded by the crazy amount of green made us all feel a bit better.

My introverted self is looking forward to the quiet week ahead and with over 7 books rented from the library, I'll be set for a while with good reading material (when there's time for it.) I hope you all have an excellent week, and a special thanks to all those that serve or have served in the Military. Having a dad as a former Marine, I have glimpses into the incredible sacrifice that the men and women of this nation give to keep us safe and free.  I am humbled by your service. Thank you. Deeply.



Ben and I have a growing list of the things we'd like to check out in this city before the inevitable move we will have with Ben's work. One of these places we wanted to visit was the Vali-Hi Drive-in. It was especially appealing in that we could watch movies with a baby and not worry about bothering anybody else.


So when we checked it out last fall and saw it already closed, we were bummed. But then summer came again! and I remembered, so I went online and saw it was open. Knowing my love for all things PG rated we jumped on the opportunity to go see the Croods.

With much excitement we arrived. What we soon discovered was that when it says opens @ 8:00, that means they start selling tickets at 8, not that they start the movie. So we showed up at 7:30  and then sat in the car to wait. So to entertain ourselves we took pictures. Well, actually,  I kept bugging ben to take pictures with me rather than let him dominate at temple run II. He obliged. And they make me laugh.

I'll spare you the rest.

 When we got got our tickets and parked our car, we walked on over to the concessions and got ourselves a hot dog and a pretzel (we brought some other snacks our self.) But before we bought our goodies, I spotted a vintage photo booth. While we do often have to pass photobooths up due to lack of cash, this time we had moneys (because Expert tip: Vali-Hi only accepts cash.) my day was made. and the pictures are one of my treasures.

So then, with treats and photo memories in hand we walked back to our car and hung out inside. We talked till it was dark, then we watched our film and fogged up our windows.

We didn't stay for the other two films because we're responsible parents now and because our child was not interested in sleeping and she was going a little crazy and it was already 11:40, so we headed home. I gotta say it was worth it though. We laughed a lot and hanging out in the car reminded me of days where we would sit and talk about dreams. This time we had a bubble-blowing, shriekingly-happy-to-be-skipping-bedtime child that made it even more fun. These are going to be a trademark of this girls childhood.

A+ night.

Lessons we learned:

1. Don't show up so early unless you want to wait a while. (Eowyn could have gotten more sleeps had we waited. Meh, no bigs.) Remember to bring cash.
2. Don't worry about the car dying. It won't if the headlights are off and the car battery is decent.
3. Be super chill about expectations regarding the baby sleeping (ours didn't sleep at all.) and expect the next night to be a little rough (she was a little crazy tonight.)  Still. its worth it. And the giddy moments of that girl made it a lot of fun.
4. The photo booth is awesome. Bring 3 extra dollars. and it takes the first picture without warning. So get ready.

Today was a good day.


Today was a good day.

We had passed this park several times and I decided it was time we explore it. So I brought my camera, and headed out. It was beautiful. This park did not disappoint. 

These little outings let me learn more about my girl. There's no doubt about it, Eowyn is more of a city girl. As soon as we neared people or came near any type of busy street, she was quiet, observant, happy. But, about 4 minutes into the quiet of the woods and she gets finicky.  She's ready to leave almost as soon as she gets there. That's one way we're different. I  can hang out in these trees for hours. Hopefully she'll someday love it as much as I do. If not, her dad can teach her how he learned to love it, since I've dragged him out into the forests several times these past few years.

As soon as we got home she was out, giving me time to go through photos and start dinner in the crockpot. My kind of day.

I'm really excited for the weekend. Ben has been working a lot of overtime which translates to more time alone with just me and E. He only has to work a little bit this weekend, which means more time just to rest together. I'm pretty happy about this.

Hope you have a happy weekend as well.

Ben is Ah-May-Zing.


These past several months have been a sort of weird struggle period for me. I would actually say my worst to date. There's been so many mantras of identity and "loving this body" and parenting and what have you that I've tried to cling tight to. At any hint of security, I jump on it. Yet, all these clever sayings have failed me and left me feeling more weary, more defeated. Much like the frustration of jamming a triangle into a square into those shape ball toys-I feel like I've just kept thinking if I push a little harder, then it'll fit and that empty space inside my belly will feel a little bit more full.

Now I know the right answers about Identity in Jesus and I have read more blogs on accepting motherhood-both with grace and Jesus and scars and all than I could even share with you. And there is truth there. and they DO help. But more often than not, I trade out good solid truth rather quick for yet another mantra, hoping that what I'm trading for will last another couple days.

I was thinking about all this, and realized that out of all the things I've let into my heart these past several months (which is the main issue itself) God has used one thing more than anything else.

My husband.

And this is where this post turns into a praise Jesus for that man post.

The farthest I can remember is back in November. When I was anxious with impending family visits and wanting to make everything go perfectly. Ben told he he didn't want me to worry about that-to just focus on taking care of him and E.

Now I know that might seem a little weird-as in "Pay attention to ME" but if you know Ben thats just not him. It was a grace card to me. It was a " I know you're going to try and make everybody happy-so quit, just worry about your husband (who is the easiest person to make happy ever) and the kid who as long as she has food is peachy.

And that week and the whole holiday season was legitimately a season of rest.

These conversations have since come up practically every other week. I share my woes with him in my struggles. And he slowly unveils my lies I've bought into. My unrealistic standards of beauty. My ridiculous standards of parenting. The trap of searching out my rank amongst others-just to see how I'm doing. And that same phrase has kept coming up.

"Pay attention to me."

He asks me questions:
"What is my standard of beauty?"
"How have we decided we're going to parent?"
"How do I think you're doing?"

And the reality is, since the day I've met Ben, he has been marked by Grace. Which means the answers to those questions are peace wrapped in grace wrapped in "well done."

A few nights ago Eowyn woke up super close to the last time I fed her, and I tried to feed her again-and after 45 minutes it was a No-Go. So with feelings of defeat and after a long time of her screaming, we problem solved. After she had gone back down I went over to him, plopped myself down cried. Then through bluppers went through my list of all the inadequacies.

And after I had listed them in full he asked:  "What do I think of you?" I told him I don't know. I refused to partake because I was feeling too sorry for myself. So he recited his own list. Then made me repeat it back.

"You think I'm a really good mom. You think I take care of our house well. You think that the reason why Eowyn is so happy is because of the work I put in......You think I'm beautiful" The list was long folks. I felt sheepish. Ridiculous even. But loved.

And he ended the conversation with "Brittany, just look at me."

And that replaces all mantras. Because thats straight from the heart of Jesus.

 And as I keep repeating these conversations in my brain, I become more blessed by Ben. And God has even further used this to show me that His love is even deeper. But the tangibleness of what Ben has shown me has made it not such a far stretch to believe the truths of Jesus.

I keep feeling that tug: "Just look at me."

Now, for all my gal pals that read this blog.  I want to straight out state that our marriage struggles. Regularly  And if you sit down with me, I'll share about how we have had different standards of what we found awesome-and they weren't each other. How we were surrounded by unmet expectations and hurt feelings. How we have not been true with our hearts. How we've broken each others. How-even in the past 6 months I heard (in grace) "I'm glad we can work this stuff out-I really didn't like you a little bit ago."  And I agreed. I don't like him much either when we're being stubborn and being careless with our words. So I want to wave a Big flag saying "sinners." This is not a perfect marriage.

But we've been redeemed and are being sanctified. And praise Jesus for that.

I'm blessed by how Christ has been working through Ben during this stage. How sweet a gift it has been to be Ben's standard of Beauty. To let go of anything outside of that and to see the truth in his words.  To find peace in the reality that this guy and my Jesus are the spokespeople for so many of my insecurities-and they have deemed me fit. Worthy. I'm blessed that this guy is the father of my babes. That he's such a good man.
That even when he fails, and sins, and my heart is sore-that He's leading under the mantel of Jesus which equips us to keep going.

Just all of it. Through the trenches of this struggle, even with it going on still. I am so blessed by who Ben's been to me. I am a loved woman. So thankful for that.

So, all that to say. Ben, you're awesome and it's clear that Jesus is working in your heart. Which blesses my heart. You are a great dad, and an even better husband.

So thanks for that. I really dig belonging with you.

Yet this I call to mind...


With every natural disaster there's a certain amount of heartache. The tornado that swept through Oklahoma yesterday has been especially hitting my heart today. I have family connections to that state, and actually had a deep interest in several grad schools there. I turned on the news when I got home this morning and felt a sort of heaviness settle into my heart. Its these kind of events that I struggle through some of the harder questions of faith and cry through all the loss that people are experiencing today.

I've been making a few prints of bible verses to put all over my home these past several months, and this one kept coming to mind.


Today I'm reminding myself that God is faithful. He's compassionate. Reminding myself of His great love.That this verse was written in Lamentations-when there was deep suffering of an entire nation. That even in the darkest of times there is hope. Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed. 

I have been blessed with the certain amount of peace that seems to be there in Oklahoma. They were more prepared than most states, the news said and when one OK native was asked about how she felt when she first saw everything and she said "We lost everything, but we're alive."

If you want to print this for yourselves, you can either click on the image and save it or here's a link to the PDF version. 

Praying for the families as they rebuild their lives again, and especially for those whose losses can not be replaced. 



For those of you who follow me on instagram, you may have already seen the bajillion of photos that I posted last night. For others, late last night these two went on a date! Past Midnight. (Woah.) 

We discovered Relient K was coming to Minneapolis and bought tickets as more of a spur of the moment idea. A few weeks later, here we were. We were so excited and so blessed by one of my closest gal friends coming over to watch Eowyn. When we got to Mill City Nights, in downtown MPLS, the crowd was just growing and we got an awesome spot. Where we stayed for the next 5 hours. 

We somehow found ourselves being surrounded by a bunch of young things, and we kept cracking jokes at the onset of our sore feet and tired bodies (including calling each other grandpa & grandma-Which P.S. Ben is gonna be a good-looking grandpa). Becoming a parent does something, folks. With the reality that we'll be still waking up at 7 AM regardless of how late we stay up and the ringing in my ears hasn't gone away yet, I can attest,  things have changed. Regardless, we had a lot of fun. We got to see three bands before Relient K and then when they came, we were deaf and SO excited. Getting to see the band you saw on one of your first dates, and one who had several influences on our wedding music, got us both giddy. 

There's something about seeing your man in his element, you know? Ben, singing every word, screaming me stories about the band members and just seeing his love of music explode. Plus, he was the only man with a beard in the entire audience-so, that was pretty awesome. It was a good night, and my crush on Ben exploded proportionately with the amount of tired I was. 

Again, it was a good night.

Today I got to go to a clothing Swap our church has and after,  Ben and I spent time at home. Here's a couple of snaps I got of the two of my loves. Eowyn is a big fan of blowing bubbles or 'zerbits.' We have fun.

My heart. 

Happy Weekend. 

Praise Jesus.


There's several data points I have on my lifeline that I could list off in a moments notice. I sometimes even make lists of these things to remind myself of what has happened in the few days I've lived. It's probably a weird practice, but it reminds me of completed dreams and it makes me feel awesome about myself.

Some of those data points are not remarkably beautiful ones, at least not in my opinion. They represent moments when fears were realized, that prayers were answered 'no.' They were the moments when dreams died.

In talking with a friend today, she asked me about marriage, and babies and that whole bit as we recapped the past few months since our last chat. After our conversation, I kept thinking about all the significant pillars that have shaped who I am. It resulted in a lot of pondering through my now 24 years of life and allowed me to look around at where all of this has landed me. In other words, the list came out.

I started rewriting my list and made sure to include all the important things like "getting my drivers license"  "going to X Y and Z" and other 'accomplishments' that I claimed to have under my belt.  As I looked at that list I had made I began seeing more than the usual. I kept noticing one thing screaming out louder than anything else.


Unmerited favor.

The accomplishments I had listed were in the shadows of all the grace I've received.

and thats when I started thinking about a whole different list.

There have been some blatant decisions I've made. Ones that hurt deeply those around me. I have experienced the heartbreak that comes with vulnerability in relationship. Unmet expectations. I've been hurt, but more often than not, If I'm honest-I'm the pain-giver.

When that realization hits me (and it has hit me several times before) my little data points turn from my big hot-shot accomplishments to little acts of mercy.

The time when the little, pretty girl from 2nd grade forgave me even when I wouldn't saying sorry after I called her ugly names. Tasting failure in high school and having friends affirm me that it made no difference in my identity, when I was convinced it defined me. Rejecting people who were worth their weight in gold and have them respond in grace and second chances.  The downright ugly things that have come out of my mouth towards my husband, because he bugged me and because I know it will hurt,  then he responds in love. These blips are what all of a sudden cloud my brain. Because if I'm honest, those have defined my character more than my ability to snag a boyfriend in 11th grade.

So, now I have this list that I don't want anyone to see. I'd rather not have these count for who I am.

But, there's Jesus.

It's a 100 degree tuesday and I just wanted to say I'm so thankful that Jesus exists. That common grace exists. That my shortcomings, in plain view are not so big to overcrowd the acts of the one who loves me. That Jesus has changed me. And is still changing me. And that while this body keeps getting closer to death my heart is getting tastes of life.

I hope as I grow into ripe old age, if God brings me there-that I'll be remembering the crazy Jesus moments that took place rather than the toot-my-own-horn (realistically pretty pathetic) moments. Because the grace that these 24 years of life has experienced is far more impressive than any bullet point I lay claim to. I can only imagine what an 89 version of myself will have experienced.

I'm gonna bear-hug that Jesus when I get to heaven. Tackle that Jesus to the ground. And probably cry like teenage girls do at a justin beiber concerts. PUMPED.

Praise Jesus.

Happy Mother's Day!


So, since we were out this past weekend, and since you are out tonight, this is the perfect chance for me, Ben, to write you, Brittany, wishing you a great Mother's Day!


You are so amazing at motherhood. I don't know how you stay so calm and collected after a frazzled day with God's Little Thunder. You amaze me with how much you do. From creating this blog and learning so much to improve it, to keeping the house clean and tidy, all the while keeping a 10 month old happy. Eowyn is truly blessed to have you as her mother. One of my favorite moments of each day is coming home and watching the interaction between you and her. I know that the main reason Eowyn is happy to see me when I  get home is because you have provided for her so well with a great routine, a steady meal, and regular sleep. I'm proud of all you've done. And to top it all off, you still find time to play crazy complex board games with me. I have so much fun with you and am so blessed to have you in my life.

Here's to many more Mother's Days, with more babies!


10 Months!

Mothers Day Weekend


We got the pleasure to go back home to my motherland for the past few days in celebration of mothers day.  I thoroughly enjoyed being with my family and enjoyed celebrating my first time as a mom. If you're friends with me via facebook, you've already seen a few of these, but here are a few of the pictures from this weeks trip.


One of my favorite parts about going home is the conversation. I know I'm blessed because for a lot of families, thats the least favorite. Because of this, I'm especially thankful. The hard topics about theology I've been pondering, often times take minutes to sort through with the insights of the pastoral group we got over there ( my very own sister joining those ranks! Holla!) and having us all there to bounce ideas, and to push out conclusions leaves me all the more excited to continue to grow. There's a good mix of laughter that keep things light (this weekends giggles consisted of organic, dairy free, gluten free, mac and chreese (made to sound like trees) my mom insisted was delicious-it was actually pretty good-and Bre's offspring's hilarious comments.) and always on the drive home I'm able to realize a lot of my shortcomings (in a way that only being in the company of grace can cause one to reflect) and find more mercy. Plus, these crazies just make life sweeter.

We went fishing in a pond nearby and went down old familiar roads.  Ben and I got on a conversation about those instances in life that have foreshadowing of future events. Like the fact Ben went to a game at the U of M when he was a teenager, then ended up at the U, and how friendships in my home town are what lead me to choose the college I did. It's weird to think just a few years prior I drove these same streets, with all sorts of different beliefs about who I was going to be, marry, accomplish. I'm thankful I've arrived at this place here. The adventure has definitely turned out far greater than I had anticipated.

And thanks to my own mom who put fresh cookies in my car for the ride home today (Um?!?! Best mom ever award!) , who has shown me how to graciously laugh at oneself, and how to love with fierce passion and fight for truth. You've kept us sensitive, called us out of ourselves and have continually encouraged us towards our relationships.

A special thanks to Julie, Ben's momma.  Man, you sure know how to raise them. Your son is a testament to your unwavering faith in Jesus, your loyalty and dedication to your family, and your ability to celebrate. Oh, and a super-genius-quick wit that only a background in english and theatre could have created. That stuff is money.

 To all the mothers, soon-to-be-mothers, & spiritual mothers, thank you for all the time and work you give. In becoming a mom, my appreciation for you has grown. For all those that have waited, prayed, and are in that season still and may not have biological children, thank you for the guidance and mothering you do everyday with those around you. I have benefited , as well those close to me. Because of you mothers, we are better, more sensitive to Jesus and those around us, and are nurtured. Thank you for taking your gift of motherhood-in all its forms- and blessing us with it.

Really. Thank you moms.