You are what you…..speak.

This has been on my heart for a while. Sometimes, in the middle of the night God brings me wonderful eye opening wisdom. This is one of those things and its too good not to share.

Defilement of the tongue is a real thing. And revealing of ones character.

Daily, I sit back and watch people tear one another down because there is no longer respect for one another’s opinions or differences. I’m sure you can relate.

It appears we live in a world where we can no longer agree to disagree. Everyone is in fight or flight mode, drowning while trying to survive and cutting one another out of their life in times of despair; when what we should really be doing is lifting one another up in love, kindness, gentleness, forgiveness and even long suffering. Ask yourself this: If it was always easy- our circumstances and daily opportunities, would you really appreciate the outcome or reward without having to experience the battle?

Standing for what you believe in is only admirable when you can endure the long suffering and still come out on the other side with your integrity still in tact.

If you are defensive, angry, or bitter because someone has a different outlook/ opinion than you, you are a part of the problem. You are only justifying peoples opinions of you, as well as letting them have control over you in your circumstance. And for what?To try and “convince” them that what your ideology is the one and only correct way? Someone else’s opinion of you or a circumstance is none of your business. It doesn’t matter. Just because someone believes something, doesn’t make it your truth.

In this world of chaos what is your Anchor? Love or hate? The beauty of it really, is that you choose for yourself. Through your actions and in the words you speak, you call in your tomorrows. Everything is established through our words, by whether we agree or disagree with one another. What you speak will produce. James 1:19 tells us to let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. These are qualities that we need to have in our trials.

In Matthew 5:43-44 it says “You have heard it said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” And again in Matthew 5:46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?

You see the devil loves that we are a nation divided- on several levels. Friendships dissolve and even family members cutting one another off. It’s exactly what he wants, and we are the ones who suffer for it, our children are the ones suffering for it and we are the only ones who will continue to suffer for it. We are human, made in His image and in His likeness- capable of so much more than we already are, We have opinions based on the ways we are raised and our personal life experiences. Sometimes we mess up; things may come across unintentional OR intentional- either way, don’t we all want others to have the same compassion and understanding towards us in our times of trying to explain and be relatable in what we stand for?

I want to present to you the #revivelovechallenge.

Do something in love for someone else, that doesn’t benefit yourself. We are all fully capable of doing so, however, are we willing to be humble and even vulnerable in showing someone love- who we don’t think or feel deserves it? From EVERY DAY situations and circumstances, Anything from our jobs, families, traffic obstacles, politics, racism etc. ALL of the trials we as people can face- Are we ready and willing to break free? To start changing our own mindsets and outlooks before we expect others to do so? Are we able to be swift in hearing, slow in speaking and slow to anger? As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you cant, either way you are right.”

Are we willing to bring change in and through ourselves first, to cause a ripple in the world? I want waves. And I’m hopeful. Will you join me? #revivelovechallenge

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Breaking Free

Its been a while.

Ive heard a lot of stories in my short time of life. Through my occupation and natural nature of being drawn to people; learning about each individual, needing and wanting to hear what makes them who they are; stopping to listen and take it all in. Stories that are beautiful, amazing, some surprising and even tragic. Their truth.

Lots of laughter has been shared, and tears have been shed. To say I’m in touch with my emotional side is an understatement- ask anyone who knows me. I have a desire to relate to people and be liked- most comes natural, but sometimes with a cost. I love to listen to these stories people share, but rarely do I share my own so openly. Fear is a nasty thing. Its amazing how we can make the world see us, put together and having it all. What could possibly go wrong?! Sure, you may catch glimpses here and there of the truth but the reality for most, is surviving in a world thats ready to eat you alive.

I think I’m so used to listening to others stories, that I get in my own head of what would people REALLY think of mine- and I halt. There’s that whole “desire to be likable” factor biting me in the butt!! But this is not shameful or something that I should be worried about sharing. Its simply put- a MIRACLE.

Something happened and everything changed. Something I wasn’t expecting, nor could ever have anticipated; the beauty of what could really be my life. I was willing and God answered….. And so my story began of anew.

6.5 years ago my life changed. Those who have met me in the last 6.5 years wouldn’t think another thing of it. But those who knew me before, those closest to me- it was a little shocking to say the least. I was in a dark place, a dead end going no where fast- and most wouldn’t have guessed it. And those who did, didn’t want to admit the extent of it. I was “living life” to the best I knew- and the best at that time was a lot of drinking, smoking, partying and of course working. The extent of stories I have, the things Ive partaken in, the shame I once had hovering over me- I literally have no clue how I am alive- EXCEPT for God keeping me. There is simply, no other explanation.

Those who have met me since my life changed, know I don’t drink or partake in certain things. Some know why, others don’t; some assume. For the most part I am still me- A HUGE personality, love to laugh, a goofy- full of expression social butterfly! But to those who knew me before, there was uncertainty. What happened to Brittany? Who is this person? This is only a phase, it wont last long etc. Ive had to fight for my new found life and why its a good change- even if its not understood- But Im still me! Ive lost some friendships along the way- but thankfully after some time, most still accept me with open arms. As I’ve gotten older I realize, those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.

I was living the (lonely) single life, same thing (mostly) every day. Get up, work, go out for drinks and socialize, carry it on home and hang out with the neighbors on the back step until the wee hours of night; before crashing, getting up and doing it all over again. Exhausting to say the least and definitely not fulfilling. Lucky for me I’ve always had a strong conscious, sometimes it just takes me a while to really hear it. Two weeks before I met my husband I started praying. Just talking to God (yes, some while being intoxicated) But aware that there had to be something better than what I was doing and living. My sister Jessica was an inspiration to me, she was married to a man who loved God, had standards and morals to measure life by and was involved with their Church, as well as wanting to raise their kids in the likeness of Christ.

I saw what she had. The potential in living something so beautiful. I wanted that. So I started talking to God. I wanted a man who loved Him; more than life itself, to be a family man- someone who could communicate and was a real partner in life. Who could see the beauty in my flaws and not want to give up on me, but encourage me and help me to grow. The only issue was, that I wasn’t even sure quite how to love myself, so how in the world was I going to love someone else? Thats the beauty of God. His grace and willingness to pick us up when we fall, in our darkest days. The two weeks leading up to me meeting Paul, God started to show me things- not necessarily in ways I understood right then, or that I liked; but non the less, He was preparing me. I was trying my best to listen. You see, God is ALWAYS willing BUT we have to listen, align and agree. It is in His time, however we as people always have choices to make. We can drastically prolong or come into agreement with what He has to offer us based on our choices. Either way, He will always honor our choice- even if, it is not what He would choose for us. Ever hear of someone always having to learn the hard way? Yea, thats me- raising my hand right over here!!

The night I met my husband on 11/12/11, after our first date I knew after coming home that he was the one. This had to be what everyone was talking about when they said they “knew”. He took me to the Dakota jazz club downtown- he not only prayed for our meal (IN PUBLIC) but we sat through BOTH shows talking for roughly 5/6 hours straight: Who we were, what we did, things we loved, our goals and even God. Do you know how hard that is to come by that in this day and age of technology??!!! It was like I knew him for years and that he had always been a part of my life. His desire for God and his own story was so intriguing and inspiring, I was left wanting more and I knew I did not want to mess this up.

But my own desires took over. Still living the same as before, drinks after work, hanging out until late etc. I tried the whole summer/fall before to quit smoking/drinking on my own and I couldn’t do it! I would maybe get through a day or two- three tops, but if we went out after work or I met the neighbors outside, guess what paired well with that drink- a cigarette…. and not just one.

The whole week after I met Paul, I started to get physically sick, even if I just had two drinks- and that was nothing compared to what my tolerance was. I rarely had a hangover- especially to this extreme. I felt like death. (Paul didn’t know that I drank or smoked- like I said I didn’t want to mess this up!) That whole week before my life changed and after I met Paul, I remember multiple times waking up in the morning and thinking “Please God if you take this feeling away I will NEVER drink or smoke again”…. Until after work of course. The night my life changed, that morning I was hung over, the night before was the usual and after work, you guessed it- shenanigans commenced. Except this night, instead of going outside to socialize I stayed inside and talked out loud- to God. While drinking….SMH….. there was a lot to be said….and I was having the best heart to heart, the only way I knew how. And imagine what happened next? You got it!!! SO SICK…..Like I never had been before!! It’s literally as if God said “Alright I’m hearing you, but you’re not quite getting it- now here’s a kick in the butt.”

I distinctly remember crying out to God and saying I need your help. I can’t do this on my own. PLEASE, PLEASE help me- I don’t want to smoke, or drink or feel like crap and non productive ANYMORE. I don’t want to mess things up with this amazing man you’ve put before me. I WANT MORE. A better life, a better way. To be as happy on the inside as I portray on the outside. To feel whole and well and ALIVE- to have meaning and purpose. To be apart of something bigger than life itself.

I had a desire to want a different life, I simply did not have the way. Until I cried out to God and He said here I AM, let me show you! There were A LOT of tears that night while I sat by myself- just me and God.

The next day, I didn’t have a hangover. I didn’t crave a cigarette. I didn’t want to drink. The day after that, it was the same. And again, the day after that. Every day since that night 6.5 years ago God met me, my life has been what I could only have ever hoped for or dreamed of. God has given me the life I once thought I was never worthy of. An amazing husband, beautiful healthy children, an awesome successful business and most importantly a relationship with Him.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have hardships or obstacles, but it does mean I have God and He conquered all things on the Cross, before I ever had to face them; and with Him ALL things are possible. Ive experienced it first hand- He took something off of me then and He continues to work miracles in my life. Just like our personal relationships, I have to work everyday at my relationship with God- by praying, reading, sharing etc. Constantly learning, growing and working to change where I need to. I don’t sit and judge others because they choose to drink or smoke or whatever else, etc. I just know my own truth, what I experienced, and the ugly that He not only took me out of, but is willing to also do for others. He accepted me broken, embraced me and gave me a new way. To say Im beyond thankful for it (insert tears), is a vast understatement.

Im tired of being worried what others “might” think of me and my story. Its mostly in my own head; it’s quite amazing what the brain is capable of coming up with. He’s growing me- everyday. In boldness, in love, in patience, kindness, understanding, gentleness etc. I am willing and bit by bit He is transforming me. Im breaking free from my own mind. Im excited and want to share what God has done for me in my life because no one else could, not even myself. 6.5 years ago, my story of victory began. My truth, His truth.

He set me FREE. He gives me Joy in Chaos and I will choose Him over and over again.

 

What big event in your life has shaped you or changed you? What made you and continues to make you into the person you are today?

 

 

 

New Year, New Growth.

Where to even start?

How about- I’m so sorry to my readers for completely being M.I.A for the past 4.5 months….. Luckily for all of you, my bestie Ashley has been on my butt about getting going again- so here we are! 🙂 BUT, FOR REAL….. Where does the time go??! A LOT has happened in these four months- Yes, good, some challenging but you better believe FULL of CHAOS!! What other way is there??

  • I had a birthday- YAY for 29!!
  • I moved BKB studio (yet again!)- YAY for growth + a BIGGER and WAY better space!!
  • Ellie turned 3!- BOO, my baby is getting SO BIG!
  • The HOLIDAYS. Enough said.
  • Sickness for both girls x2 = Quarantined January.
  • Ava is FINALLY crawling and is literally EVERYWHERE!
  • We have officially hit Threenager phase with Ellie and my hands are full ALL of the time.

Let’s get vulnerable. The past few months have brought on a lot of reflection of my life- where it is and where I’d like it to go. Sometimes I think I have it narrowed down and then all of a sudden I feel like I’m back at square one. Over all life is good, but I find struggles in balancing. A LOT. Its like I’m riding a Maverick wave. Those beasts go really high but then they also come crashing down. Right now, I’m really trying to focus on my relationship with God and finding Joy in my everyday life.

When I say that, that doesn’t mean things are bad. Its just BUSY, BUSY, BUSY. I find myself so consumed by what has to continuously get done that I forget to stop and enjoy what I’m getting done and experiencing in the now. I’m a perfectionist by nature and it literally can get the best of me at the worst times. Honestly, I’ve been super overwhelmed.

Being a working mom is no joke. Being a working mom who owns a business is even harder (at least for me.) I also have been on the other side as a full time SAHM and thats hard too, but a totally different perspective. BKB is growing fast and there is no amount of words for how grateful I am for that. However, Im not quite in the place to hire someone on to do my marketing, numbers, orders, inventory, etc. which means- even if I am not physically at work cutting the hairs (As Ellie would say) there is plenty of work that still needs to be done. I have a hard time leaving that at the door when I get home, not to mention thank you smart phone for making it possible to have contact 24/7 via email, text and phone calls- making it feel darn near impossible to disconnect. Thus I have a hard time balancing nurturing my business when I want to really nurture my babies. Bring on the maverick.

One of my biggest fears is I’m going to screw up my kids or damage them. I LITERALLY worry about this on almost a daily basis right now. (We all have life experiences) Like I said above, Ellie has hit threenager phase. (Who ever said 2 was hard…LIES.) I’ve said it many times before she is pint sized and DETERMINED. This child does not back down for anything. In some ways I really admire this quality about her, but in the middle of the days tug o’war I often wonder how much I’m at fault and have I created something horrible…..that might sound harsh to say but when you have experiences as a parent that put you from calm to feeling like an adrenaline junkie in 1.5 seconds you start to second guess your self on whether or not you can master said parental skills- when your 3 year old is so ticked at the store (YOU KNOW where I was.) because she wanted a chocolate chip cookie but instead they offered her a sugar cookie- that she literally throws it across the store and ensues in a total melt down, you not only go through the emotion of feeling embarrassed because everyone is staring at you but wonder what in the world??! Where did my child go and how did this just happen? You feel so defeated when there is no consoling or a way to make it better because she made up her mind that she was having a chocolate chip cookie. Except she wasn’t and I’m not going to beat my child to get her to stop. JS. So I grab what I absolutely need at lightening speed and bolt outta there. No pun intended.

Please know, anyone who meets Ellie will tell you she is a good child and she is! But she will test her momma like no one else (I think kids have a club set up for this or something. ALWAYS test mom more than anyone else. Like for real, LEGIT.) Most days are great, but when the hard times come they are REALLY hard. (I’m an extrovert so I naturally exert my energy out all day long; these experiences literally drain me.) One thing we are trying to change is not giving her options. That almost sounds silly but because she is so opinionated we forget that she isn’t at an age of accountability or that she doesn’t really understand whats at stake or how to measure. She knows what she likes and what she doesn’t like based off her current life’s experiences (3 years is short!) so its our jobs to mold them and encourage new experiences so they grow.

One thing I find my self constantly doing (I have no idea how this became) is saying “Okay?” after I tell her I want her to do something. SHOOT me in the foot right there. How stupid is that? I want you to do this, but is that okay with you? OF COURSE it isn’t okay with her. I’m interrupting quality play time AND who cares if its snowing- who wants to wear boots when she just got new light up princess shoes? Its so funny to really think about it because as a parent you just want whats best for your child. BUT that doesn’t mean getting approval from them, whether you realize your asking for it or not. Sometimes its hard though because you see it so much in todays society, these little things that are “normal” to do, yet make a HUGE difference in how they react and obey. Sometimes being a parent means finding and taking responsibility in your own trial and errors in raising your kids. I mean, I don’t think anyone has the thought of ” Id like to raise a jerk.”- At least I hope not! We have to be able to share hard times with each other and not worry about being judged because the outcome was not what we were hoping. We need to share what works for each other and see if that may work for us too.

This is one of my many goals this year. To be connected.

  • in the now, with my kiddos
  • with my husband, even when he might not understand what I’m experiencing.
  • to myself, and taking better care of me and my needs.
  • to a support group of awesome momma’s.

And disconnected when needed from work. Because in the end there is always work. Our kiddos are only little once, these hardships will only last for so long, these emotions will at one point be a memory and then laughter of the thought, how did I make it through and where did the years go? At the end of the day there needs to be joy, REAL JOY even in the middle of the chaos. I’m starting to find mine.

 

*What are some things that work for you and your little ones in behavior struggles? Charts? Rewards program? Time out? Redirection? I would love for you to share your ideas and experiences with me!

 

 

Growing Pains

They call them terrible two’s for a reason…Although I have come to be a firm believer they should call them testy two’s vs. terrible. I don’t think Ellie is terrible or that she is a bad child. She actually is very well behaved for the most part but she is two and she is testing out the world around her- in EVERY imaginable way.

Today I cried in the middle of my favorite store while at the checkout. Legit TEARS.

Target is a mother’s oasis- mine especially (probably for the non- mother’s too.) BUT when you become a mom its like a whole new world going to target. I disconnect, enjoy my (pumpkin spice) latté and most times end up going home with great finds I didn’t even know I needed in my life until I crossed paths wandering aimlessly through the aisles just to kill time. I LOVE going to target by myself. More times than not though, I have the kids with me and lately more times then not its to grocery shop- getting in and out as soon as possible to keep my kiddos level of distraction in check and my sanity on a healthy level.

Today, it was a battlefield in a war zone and I lost the fight.

The morning was challenging in itself, from Ellie being upset that we did not have boonanas in the house, she wasn’t happy I wouldn’t let her have a 3rd helping of cereal which was a different kind than her initial two bowls and no matter how many times I tell her she can not sit on top of her sister, because she is too heavy and Ava can be hurt- she attempts to anyway and then ensues in a total meltdown when I remove her from so. As I’m trying to get us ready to leave, finishing up Ava’s bath she insisted on trying to climb in the tub. When that wasn’t going to happen she resorted to taking out most of her tub toys and laying them in patterns around the rug in Ava’s room and then does not want to put them back without a fight. (Also shot her self in the eye with elmo who apparently didn’t get drained from the night before’s bath.) so that was tramautic and we had to wipe her eyes dry. Throw in a few random screams at the top of her lungs (I’m talking mariah carey pitch), removing socks and shoes in the car and then proceeds to scream more because she can’t figure out how to get them back on her self and you have one overdosed adrenalined momma who is ready for a nap- and its 10am.

Ellie had her cookie when we walked in and from then on it was a slippery slope down hill. (Maybe this was my own down fall for letting her have a cookie in the first place after such a hectic morning. But I like to think target is a RESET for the day and can only improve things for the greater good.) From trying to get her to stop pulling her sisters legs because she wanted to sit in the front of the normal cart vs the big girl seat attached to the front of the cart (this contraption is what I can only imagine driving a semi would be like.) to grabbing at things in the aisle and having to be swift to place them back on the shelf before 50 others fall down (having this beast cart is not ideal in the middle of the aisle for all other shoppers- trust me I tried) , crying because I didn’t give her the Elsa and Anna cheese packs fast enough and finally when we checked out was royally ticked because I took said cheese to put on the belt so that we could pay for it and when the cashier rang it up Ellie had a MELTDOWN because the cashier touched it and she wanted it back immediately. These series of events may seem silly or that it wouldn’t be stressful at all but I assure you, if you have your own kids you most definitely know what I am talking about and if you haven’t reached this stage or have kids of your own quite yet- I’ll pray for you.

My insides were so shaken up I didn’t know what to do. I took the cheese which was placed in its own bag and gave it to Ellie (this is not something I would normally promote but lets be honest I didn’t know what else to do and felt so embarrassed that I just wanted her to stop throwing a fit for 2 minutes so I could pay and get us out the door.) Which Ellie then ripped the cheese out of the bag and threw the bag on the floor. Unless you have been at the very wrath of a 2 year old you are not allowed an opinion on this. Don’t judge me. I have beat myself up more than anyone else could- because what I did next was say out loud in front of a person I didn’t know, to my own child that she was making me crazy.

I felt helpless. Out of control helpless. I immediately regretted it. It broke my heart that I was so weak to express such things to my 2 year old who is trying to get through her own emotions and communication barriers. But I just lost it. As I stood in line to pay for my groceries tears streamed down my face. I just stood there quiet not knowing what my next move should be and embarrassed because I don’t think the cashier knew what to say or if she should even look at me.

My mind has been racing all afternoon, my emotions have the best of me and I don’t know which way to go…. I need to regroup, get my self back together and push on through because in the end, all us mothers really want is perfect love for and toward our children. But in the process we need to also want perfect love for ourselves and forgive ourselves when we may just fall short in the learning process. Personally, there is no greater learning experience than that of our children. On all levels. And I’m trying.

First comes….Dating

A couple of weeks ago we had a vacation, we were suppose to go up north for the races (Jeff, my father in law drag races….and it’s AWESOME) but due to Ava being so little Paul crushed my dreams and said “Not this year, babe!” WAHH!!!! Soo, we decided to stay in town!

BUT with us staying home we were able to accomplish the long list of our honey do’s and more! Which was a HUGE weight lifted off of my shoulders because we all know how that list can add up and there never seems to be enough time to get it all done- especially with little ones.

Another benefit to our staycation was daycare. Daycare on a staycation= DATES. ANYTIME of the DAY. You’d think we would have had a list written down of anything and everything to do with out our kids, but guess what? We can think of everything we’d like to do on dates when we have the kids but with out them we are almost….lost. When you have kids it’s easy for everything to be about and revolve around them.

While most of the time this is true, (especially when they are so little and depend on you for most things.) it’s not always best. I’m a firm believer in order and that your spouse needs to be first and kids second. This is not always easy, especially from a mother’s perspective. At least mine. I love my husband with my whole being, but I tend to the littles ALL day long. I hate to admit it, but sometimes, by the time Paul is home I just want to sit by myself in silence and not have little hands pulling at me or my adrenaline going from a 0-100 in 2 seconds flat from a scream in the other room while I’m trying to prepare something for dinner. This can take away from the attention I’d like to give my hunny because of my exhaustion from the days obstacles.

Thus, staycation for me turned into date your mate! Through out the week I reflected a lot on my 4 years with Paul. We have done and seen A LOT in a short amount of time but when I think about just how much we have accomplished and how much we have grown, dating my husband is some of my best memories- past AND present!

Which brings us to the dating stages:

  1. Getting to know you: This dating stage everyone knows (insert Vince vaughn from wedding crashers.) Do I like this person? Does this person like me?  Do I have food on my face? Am I talking too much? Are they talking to much? Am I interested? I’m not really interested…should I pretend that I’m interested? Is he interested?
  2. Relationship status: I am interested and investing my time because I see hope in you for the future. Please survive meeting my family and friends. That’s all I’m asking.
  3. Married dating: We’ve made it!  You’re my person and I don’t care if we spend time with others or by ourselves as home bodies as long as I’m with you.
  4. Married with kids dating: Dinner and movie nights  Does this exist??
  5. Dating like your kids again: Bringing it back to you, like when you first fell in love.

I will never forget my first date with Paul, it was different from anything I’d experienced and I still remember standing in my apartment when he dropped me off that night and thinking ” This is it. He is the guy I am going to marry.” It was November 12, 2011- He took me to the Dakota Jazz Club for the first showing featuring latin cuban music. We talked SO much we sat through both shows and it took us roughly 2 hours in before we had our meal. I should also mention we did have an appetizer right away and the man ate calamari which I later found out he was disgusted by but had to impress me. In my defense,  I also ended up eating a piece of what I thought was chicken- turned out to be chicken fat and I MADE myself swallow it so I didn’t have to spit it out in front of him. Talk about sacrifice! (that’s NOT the experience I am talking about!!) He was intriguing, smart, genuine, good looking, a gentleman and could carry AMAZING conversation- I was for sure interested.

We moved to relationship status fairly quickly. Even though it was so easy to fall into being comfortable with one another, one thing paul is really good at is impressing me. He continued to plan dates- from going to dinners, rollerblading (to be exact, once around the block.), ball games, different b-fast places (one of my favs), walks or making me dinner (THIS IS HUGE. Pizza is his lifeline.) and talking for hours- to name a few. He opened the car door for me, walked me to my door at night and treated me as his priority! I was totally investing my time on this guy!!

We were engaged at 6 months and married July 14th, 2012. Being married and dating is similar to relationship dating except for us we were going home together at night vs him dropping me off (#Winning) I told you he was a gentleman- LEGIT. We still saw friends but when you’re married something changes….the comfort level or maybe the relationship growing from 2 becoming 1. I became content in just being home with him or whatever we were doing as long as I was sharing my experiences with him. It didn’t matter if other people weren’t around all the time. (Which is BIG for me because I am a social butterfly.)

Being married with kids (very small people) and dating your spouse is life changing. As if having kids in the first place wasn’t life changing enough! It’s hard. You have routine and responsibility to the littles, yet don’t lose that responsibility to your spouse. It becomes a balancing act, one of which I’d be lying if I said I had it all figured out. I don’t, not even close. But I know I love my husband more today than I ever have before. He knows me on my worst, hardest days (not pretty, quite ugly actually) and still loves me and cheers me on. It’s harder for him to plan because well, we have two kids and I own a business that he doesn’t have constant access to the ever changing schedule. Sometimes I have to voice that I need a date, but when I do he puts forth effort in BIG ways. Coming up with different date ideas can sometimes be challenging-especially when you’re just excited to have a meal that you don’t have to talk over your babies (which you end up talking about non-stop through dinner) and a movie to watch at the theatre sprawled out in a plush leather recliner vs your worn out spot on the couch. (SMART move on their part) I can feel my muscles relax just thinking about it. But regardless of what he surprises me with, a dinner and movie or something new, it give us time. Quality time that for me is a MUST when you have littles.

When we were on vacation, we had time that we were not used to having access to- with out kids. What in the world were we going to do??!! We went to breakfast 3 times alone that week! I highly recommend trying:

http://www.colossalcafe.com/  This place is much smaller than I had anticipated but we were able to cozy up to a small table outside that gave us some privacy to talk! I had the bacon, green onion and cream cheese omelet with coffee, which was SOO GOOD!!!

http://gooddaycafemn.com/ If you want something lively this is your place to go! The decor was original and the smell of the bakery when you walk in was enough to sign us up for a Granny’s sticky caramel pecan bun to share. I had the classic eggs benedict which also was really good (the english muffin could have been toasted more though.) I wasn’t crazy about the coffee but I stick to 1/2 caff these days so I also am not a great person for review on that. They do have great reviews on other coffee varieties though.

http://www.wayzatamaggies.com/ This is a small hometown feel diner in the heart of Wayzata. We’ve been quite a few times- Their french toast is AMAZING. It also comes with your choice of eggs/ meat and hashbrowns so go with an empty stomach because you will walk out FULL and probably not have to eat again until dinner.

We also went to the new JASON BOURNE movie (Paul’s choice) My first choice is usually the current rom-com playing but I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t have to see all of the previous BOURNE movies to fully understand what was going on- If you like action, I would definitely suggest checking it out!

We did some shopping etc. BUT my FAVORITE thing we did was go to Cascade Bay. If you have not been to this place, you MUST go WITHOUT kids. There is an area for children, I mean its a water park after all but this was the FUNNEST date to go on, on a hot day with my guy and not having to worry about my littles (where is my child? Is she a safe distance from me? I hope she isn’t inhaling water! Why doesn’t she understand after the 1675X that she can’t inhale water??) We floated down the lazy river for 3.5 hours, occasionally pulling off to take the water slide route or the obstacle with bubbling rapids landing you under a faucet with torrential downpour. ( I got Paul REAL good with this one a few times!!) I felt like a kid again, falling in love for the first time all over. It was that great, so much so that when we left I asked if we could go back again that week!

In the end Paul and I have really great memories through out our dating which also leads to really funny stories. I think if we compiled them all we would land a book deal and an early retirement. I thought he may have been a cancer survivor because his picture online portrayed him with this light fluffy hair that looked like it was growing back in (NO PAUL it wasn’t a pity date!!) and later I found out he thought I sounded like a dude. Yep I said that. A DUDE. Thank God my picture was appealing! Through it all I can’t imagine what life would be like with out him and having all of these experiences with someone other than him. The man makes me over the moon happy beyond words!! So until the time comes when it’s no longer a possibility I will continue to date my husband. They have been the best dates of my life and I wouldn’t want them with anyone else. Ever.

 

Ellie’s sockscapade

You guys.

I had every intention of writing about something else for this post, however, I came across some pictures on my phone this evening and this is just TOO GOOD not to share. Don’t judge me for finding hilarity in this event of complete chaos and total meltdown from Ellie. But sometimes you have to laugh at the things your kids do because if you don’t you may go lock your self in a bathroom (for hours on end.) for an adult time out or pull out all of your hair (which ever comes first) because sometimes there is no logic or reasoning with a 2 year old.

When I said before that Ellie had determination this is a prime example. You know those posts that you see about kids crying for “no reason” and are so upset because their parent(s) wouldn’t let them finish eating dirt or they couldn’t find the ball they just threw when its sitting right behind him? I always look at those and giggle because I thought ” how funny, Ellie has never done something like that.” And then it happened. In all its glory.

It was last wednesday evening and we were getting ready to leave the house to go to our normal bible study at church. Ellie looks forward to seeing our pastors so much so that she asks about them almost daily. Well this Wednesday in particular we were having a surprise birthday celebration for our Pastor and Paul and I were in charge of getting everything together. Which included cake. You can imagine how excited Ellie was about cake….like a kid in a candy store with no limit.

Since she started daycare a couple of months ago she’s been wearing socks because I have her wearing tennis so that she can play outside, climb everything insight etc and not have to worry about stubbing her little piggies. She is also learning to put on her shoes and tennis are much easier to put on when you’re not battling soft, sweaty baby feet-Preventing another meltdown. So the conversation to follow is us getting ready to leave:

Mommy: “Ellie, lets get ready to go to church so we can surprise Pastor Ron!”

Ellie: “Ok! I excited! Socks, shoes let’s go!

Mommy: “Ok, go pick out some socks so we can put on your tennis and go.”

While I attempt to get Ava put together and packed up, Paul puts on Ellie’s socks for her and continues to grab our bags and pack the car with everything we need. All seems to be going smooth- I mean what could possibly go wrong?

Well first Ellie decided she had to have one sock rolled down and one pulled all the way up. What ever floats your boat kid. She’s going to be a trend setter I can already see it. (I’m sad I don’t have a picture of this,  but I’m sure there will be another opportunity in the future.) We put her shoes on, “Alright let’s go! ” Still, what can go wrong??

BUT THEN- she has decided she HAS to have BOTH socks pulled ALL THE WAY UP and they MUST go above her knees. Well guess what? They are not long enough and chaos ensues. Exhibit A:

 

She pulled those socks so hard I thought the ankle was going to rip right off the foot portion. Again and again and AGAIN. Then she manages to get them slightly on her knee. But guess what: knees bend when you walk. The horror. This process happened at least 4 times before I finally took my phone out for pictures. Because in my defense I didn’t know what else to do. Finally-At this point I am trying to console her and explain that her socks are not long enough but she can still wear them up high and that everything will be ok. The 4th picture is of her screaming at me because clearly that is not what she wants to hear and I must be wrong.

I lost it…..laughing, giggling, crying-you name it. No worries I was kind enough not to laugh AT her! I had to walk to the car because it was coming out faster than I can blink and I couldn’t believe all of this over socks!! Let me say this: I would definitely trade 31 year old problems for 2 year old problems. I wish she knew just how easy life was at her age… Needless to say after some much bribing of cake and snacks all was right again with the world. Ellie wore her socks high and enjoyed her (BIG) piece of cake.

**I hope this made you smile, for those of you who have kids what are some funny things that your children have done that you wouldn’t expect?

Hello, it’s me. Brittany.

I love my life.

These 4 words speak volumes of truth. Truth that I never thought I would be able to claim as my own- to the extent that I can.

I have a wonderful husband, Paul who I have been married to for 4 years and 2 girls, Ellie (2.5) and Ava (5 months) who complete our world beyond measure. (You will read A LOT about them later!) On top of being domesticated (haha) I’m currently a stay at home mom and a full time business owner of Brittany Kinney Beaute. (In salon and on-site hair and makeup artist) Needless to say, my world is BUSY…. ALL. OF. THE. TIME.

How do I do it all?????

Honestly your guess is as good as mine. What I do know is I have God, an amazing support system (family + clients) and a husband who cheers me on even when I think I may be on the brink of insanity. I love it all. Rainbows, butterflies, storms and CHAOS. Which brings me to (one of) my reason(s) for starting this blog.

I LOVE being a mommy.

Motherhood is not for the weary or faint. Let’s be real. There are some days I feel like I came out of a war zone and could face plant my pillow the minute Paul walks through the front door. I mean how can a 2.5 year old have the determination comparable to a solider in battle to overcome any and all obstacles put in their way??? How can a 4 month old need to eat and cry until she does, the minute you sit down to have dinner after a long day of work?? I may never know….BUT most days I can’t wait to see what new word(s) Ellie throws into sentences (usually in correct context) and how excited she is about simple tasks that to her, boost her confidence on levels that would match an olympian winning a gold medal. Ava being a baby still, giving a sweet smile followed by a coo and just now starting that belly giggle melts me right into a puddle of mush. Most recent, during the week I have the girls part time due to BK Beaute growing in demand (WOO HOO!!)  and it also helps me have balance to conquer all of my other tasks from business to personal and social aspects of life. But at the end of the day they are my world. My family is what drives me.

The stories I share with you are real and raw. Some days are great and then there are some that are not so great, but they are every day opportunities and obstacles that I face. From keeping our marriage strong to raising kids and balancing business ownership. I’m not going to lie, you will read a lot about my kiddos (hilarity AND tears!) but this is to collide all areas of my life: marriage, mommy hood, family, cooking/recipes, hair care + makeup tips/tricks/products, business ownership etc. NOTHING is off limits. This is for me (AND YOU!) For those that know me personally, you know I love a good story telling. But for those who don’t, be prepared for humor/sass/passion and laughs (we have A LOT of laughs!) because through it all you will find JOY amid chaos.