Tag Archives: vacation

Babymoon!

Standard
Babymoon!

Hands down, taking a Babymoon was a great idea, perhaps one of our best – I’d encourage anyone to do it. Sure, it’s a vacation with a silly moniker attached, but it’s fun and blissful – and in our case, the last vacation as a family of two.

We spent four amazing nights and five days at the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, a beautiful, secluded, all-inclusive resort in the “Romantic Zone” of the city (aka south of the city, on the Bay of Banderas). Every day, we alternated between beach and pool, beneath the palapa or the umbrella. Every night, the sunset was phenomenal – God really showed off his artistic abilities. There were several serious conversations about “was this better than our honeymoon?” Although we never determined a solid yes/no (settling on “it’s just DIFFERENT and AMAZING!”), I think if I’d been able to drink the fruity adult beverages and do something adventurous (say, ziplining), it may have put it over the top.

This vacation was a stark contrast from last summer’s big Euro Trip. There, we were blowing and going, seeing 5 things per day and running around like lunatics. This time, we slept late, ate whatever/whenever/for free, toured nothing and were extremely lazy. I read TWO books. It was GLORIOUS.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Mommy/Daughter Trip to San Francisco!

Standard

Last weekend, my mom and I went to San Francisco together for a bit of mother/daughter fun before my conference began. I’d never been to San Francisco before, so I did what any OCD Type A person would do – researched, planned and made an agenda of things to see and do while there :)

Mom, like Chad, thought I was a slave driver and evil sadist for all of the walking required, but she took it like a champ (just like Chad did in Europe) and admittedly enjoyed her time with me and in the city. We went to Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Ghiradelli building, the Golden Gate Bridge, Muir Woods and Sausalito in less than 48 hours – a success for sure :) I also made mom stand in line at Mama’s on Washington Square, a famous breakfast/brunch place, for an hour and a half in the freezing cold, windy weather. Yes, it was cold (and there was a very annoying and loud woman standing right behind us), but once we started eating those rage feelings subsided :)

After mom left, I went to the park across the street from the Painted Ladies (the Full House houses, for all of my fellow late 80’s/early 90’s children) and read my book/ate ice cream for the remainder of the day. Sunday night-Wednesday afternoon were spent at the conference and then I was back on a plane to Houston!

Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Brittney.

Standard

So it’s been almost a  year two years (math is hard) since the last time the ol’ blog was updated and nothing of any significance has happened. OH WAIT…we got another dog, went on our dream European vacation, started trying to have a baby, found out that my infertility issues meant we’d require IVF treatments, went on some fab vacations, miraculously got pregnant, AND SO MUCH MORE!

I realize it’s impossible to catch up on a year’s worth of life in just a few bullets (because really, who wants to read more than that?), but  here’s a best effort…or at least an effort. Note: I will save The Infertility Saga for another time.

  • Summer 2013 – We went to Michigan to surprise Chad’s stepdad, Brent, for his 50th birthday party! We also went to Florida for the first annual Family Feud Fantasy Football Draft!
  • Fall 2013 – We got Abby! Yes, we added a second corgi to our family and she’s obsessed with Chad. It works out nicely because Cooper is obsessed with me and now we each have our own furball :) Abby is now 8.5 and Cooper is just over 2; both weigh about 34 pounds :)
  • December 2013 – CHAD TURNED 30! I lied and told him we were going to Mexico, but we actually went to pick up his family and best friend at the airport for a long weekend of fun :) Although I know Chad was slightly disappointed in not going to Mexico, I know he was truly surprised and thrilled his family was in town. I also threw him a surprise party that weekend, so it was kind of a big deal (he has his work cut out for him when I turn 30 in 2016!)
  • February 2014 – I turned 28 and decided it was time to think about starting a family!
  • June 2014 – WE WENT ON OUR DREAM VACATION TO EUROPE! Two weeks in Rome, Paris and Barcelona. Hands down, our favorite spot was Paris. It was the most beautiful, romantic and tasty city EVER (and of course, the most expensive). We agree that if we ever win the lottery or come into a large sum of money, we’d have a house in Paris :)
  • October 2014 – We went to Chicago with Chad’s best friend Joe and his girlfriend Ali – IT WAS AWESOME. We did all of the big touristy things in 36 hours – Hancock Building, Sears Tower, museums, deep dish pizza, visited the bar from The League, Second City, architecture cruise, amazing food…it was a whirlwind!
  • December 2014 – Haley and Mike got married and we celebrated with a ton of folks I hadn’t seen in forever!
  • January 9-10, 2015 – I went on a work trip to Santa Fe, NM and didn’t feel well.
  • January 11, 2015 – WE FOUND OUT WE’RE PREGNANT!!! Go ahead and tell God something can’t be done – he’ll LOL at you.
  • March 2015 – We went to Michigan to visit Chad’s family and had a great time!  Yoga, games and all of the usual fun (minus the booze, for me).
  • April 27, 2015 – I felt the baby move (for sure) for the first time!
  • May 7, 2015 – Chad felt the baby move for the first time!
  • May 8, 2015 – OUR GENDER REVEAL IS TOMORROW, Y’ALL!!
  • May 9, 2015 – My first Mother’s Day :)

There are approximately 11 million photos I could post from the above adventures, but I know which one you really want :)

Baby G at 20 weeks!

Baby G at 20 weeks!

 

Summer Already?!

Standard

Holy cow. It’s June 17. Where has the time gone?!

School is out and Chad is loving having the summer off – I mean who wouldn’t?! If we both had the summer off, we’d probably go on some epic road trip. Sadly, I do not…but a girl can dream!

Cooper is now 16.8 pounds – and still as cute as ever! He’s a favorite at the vet and has seriously never met a stranger. He loves everyone! We think he might have an ear infection, so we’re monitoring that situation and not giving him any of the new treats we bought him (sometimes food causes them).

Yesterday was Father’s Day and we got Chad’s stepdad (Brent) tickets to the Lions/Patriots preseason (week 3) game! He’s excited (I think he thought we were joking him when he opened the gift!) but now faces the difficult decision of who to take with him to the game – son, daughter or wife? I do not envy him! Too bad I can’t throw MY hat into the ring!

We’re hoping to go see Chad’s grandpa and his wife this August (and his family would meet us there, from Michigan), which is always an amazing time. Fingers crossed that the dates, price and vacation times all line up! Who doesn’t love the white sand of Ft. Myers Beach?! No one. Also, we did get to see Colleen (grandpa’s aforementioned wife) on Saturday night, as she was in town visiting her sister, who lives in Kingwood. A delicious fish dinner, wine and great conversation were had by all!

And on a sad note, the center stone of my engagement ring was dangerously loose and the prongs were badly misaligned, so I had to give my ring to the jeweler for repair. They won’t be ready until Saturday at the earliest – BOO! I haven’t taken them off since I got them and my finger feels naked :( I tried to convince Chad that he should buy me a placeholder ring while we were at the jeweler, but he wasn’t buying it. Thus, I’ve replaced it with my pre-wedding James Avery ring that Chad got me.

So that’s that!

A Month of Thanksgiving

Standard

Everyone seems to have done the “Month of Thanksgiving” posts on Facebook/Twitter this year – you know, where every day you say one thing you’re thankful for. Well, for half of this month, I was in Peru…and the internet is shotty AT BEST there. So here is my list of 30 things I’m thankful for :)

  1.  Jesus – Without him, I would have no life.
  2. Chad – He’s the best gift God could have given me! He’s so loving, patient and kind. He’s a truly genuine person – something that’s hard to come by these days. He’s never fake, never spiteful, never arrogant. He’s humble, a great leader, and my best friend. I could go on forever!
  3. Toilets and toilet seats – I told you I’d been in Peru for half the month! I peed in a hole and toilet seats were very hard to come by. I’m telling you, it’s the little things!
  4. Family – Between me and Chad, we seriously have some of the coolest relatives EVER. Of course, I love my own mother and sister to death, but I feel the same way about Chad’s mom, sister, brother and stepdad! And of course Payton and Lilly have special places in my heart :) Not to mention our amazing aunts, uncles and grandparents!
  5. Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card – Not that we need a credit card, but we put our monthly gas, groceries and some other expenses on this bad boy in order to earn frequent flyer miles. We went to Vegas for free in August, and we’ve earned two more round trip flights already!
  6. The gym – It always makes you feel better, even if you didn’t feel like going!
  7. Homemade meals – I love to cook, and I really love trying out new things. I’m glad Chad is open to eating what I make! And it makes me feel really good to cook delicious, healthy meals for us :)
  8. Pictures of corgis and dachshunds – We WILL be getting these dogs when we get our first home. Mark my words!
  9. Christmas decorations and music – Christmas is my favorite time of year, and seeing all the sights, hearing all the sounds, smelling all the smells and tasting all the foods of the season makes me SO HAPPY!
  10. Laughing – Chad and I are ALWAYS laughing – and if you ask me, there isn’t enough of that in the world! We’re even able to laugh when the times are tough, which is always great.
  11. Fleece-lined tights – Seriously. These things are great! They keep me warm in winter (they wouldn’t cut it in Chicago or somewhere with a REAL winter), and allow me to wear something besides pants every.single.day.
  12. Mexican food – I really don’t think this needs an explanation.
  13. Cuddle time – There is really nothing better than curling up on the couch with your husband, in your PJs or sweatpants and fuzzy socks, and watching TV. Promise.
  14. Football – How about the Texans this year?! AWESOME. And the Longhorns did better than last year…that’s about all I can say about that. But YAY TEXANS!!!
  15. Employment – In a time where so many are jobless, I’m very thankful to have a job that allows me to use my degree, talents and passion. The paycheck is nice too :)
  16. My charity/cause-loving friends – Every time I turn around, someone is raising money for a cause that is near and dear to their heart. That is so great. THANK YOU, friends, for dedicating yourselves to such worthy causes!
  17. G-chat – Because I live in another state, G-chat enables me to talk to some of my best friends almost every day. Whether they’re in Texas, New York or somewhere in between, it enables me to stay connected to their lives, despite the distance.
  18. White sand beaches with turquoise waters – Sadly, we did not make it to the beach this year. But that does not take the beach out of my list of loves! There is nothing like sitting under an umbrella with your toes in the sand, the wind  in your hair, and the waves crashing around you.
  19. All things pumpkin and gingerbread – Are there better cold weather/holiday season flavors? I think not. My first attempt at pumpkin bread went AMAZINGLY WELL, so that is going to be a new tradition. Gingerbread lattes are like Christmas in a cup, and how could you not like that??
  20. The Walking Dead – I know, a silly thing to be thankful for. But we really do look forward to it Sunday nights! Plus, it gives us cuddle time, since it’s filled with scary and cringe-worthy moments. See #13.
  21. Elf – My sister and I watch this together EVERY YEAR. We can quote the entire thing, and sometimes do so via text. Until I got married, when I’d go home for Christmas, Kourt and I would share her room/bed (because the kids are in my old room) on Christmas Eve night. We would always watch that movie and then wake up together just like when we were little kids. TMI? Get over it – this is my blog!
  22. Coffee – It’s delicious. It’s a great way to start my day. And it’s always made and given to me by my amazing husband – BONUS!
  23. Your prayers – We’ve had so many people praying for us this year, through some really tough times. I cannot tell you how much this means to us, and how much it has lifted our spirits. There aren’t enough words to say how much we appreciate all of you and your prayers!
  24. Blake Shelton – He’s hilarious. He’s attractive. He can sing. Need I say more? The bromance between him and Adam Levine is hilarious on The Voice, and I’ve been a fan of his long before he became the megastar he is today.
  25. Our church family and friends – We’ve been so blessed to meet so many great people here in Little Rock, who have really taken us in as their own. These are some really genuine, loving people with servant’s hearts – and I’m so glad we’ve gotten to know them over the years! From inviting us over on a random Tuesday to letting us spend major holidays with you, we REALLY appreciate it!
  26. Immanuel Baptist Church – Our church is amazing. We unapologetically stand for what the Bible says and Jesus. My faith has been strengthened and I have spiritually grown so much, thanks to the teachings of Pastor Gary and the other leaders in the church.
  27. Loganberry Frozen Yogurt – It’s Chad’s favorite place, and I can always convince him that we need to go there for a guilt-free treat :)
  28. Old school Christmas movies – I love them all! Charlie Brown, The Grinch, Rudolph, Frosty…you name it! And I’ve scheduled them ALL to record this year. JOY!
  29. Pastor Victor and Pastor Roger in Peru – These are two extremely hard working men, who face incredible hardships in their work every day. It was a pleasure to get to know them while on my mission trip, and I pray that God continues to use them to further His kingdom!
  30. YOU! – I have so many amazing friends, who fill my life with laughter, pride and joy every day. Thank you for always being there for me – whether I needed a sounding board, a shoulder to cry/freak out on, or a room to stay in while in town :)

Where to Start?!

Standard

After 20 days out of the office (Peru and Thanksgiving), my head is spinning a little. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to be back in the office – I’m a creature of habit who loves a routine schedule…and being off just promotes being lazy, eating and spending. All of that must stop!

But I’m staring at my inbox right now, feeling overwhelmed. Where to start?! I guess I’ll follow the advice I give when managing a big project/announcement and other people look at me with a distressed look that says “WHAT DO WE DO?! THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO!” And that is to just pick something – one thing – and do it. Do it well. And then move on to the next.

You probably think I’m crazy, but I’m really glad to be back in the office. I love what I do, and I love working. Granted, if I had some kiddos to attend to while at home, I’d probably like staying home a lot more (not that it’s not great…it just gets old after a while!). But for now – and probably for the future as well – it’s time to get some work done!

What Happens in Vegas…Goes on the Blog :)

Standard

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been almost an entire month since my last blog! Things have been busy at work and with The Weatherman’s “situation” (more on that here, or ask me directly), but we did manage to squeeze in a 5-day vacation to Las Vegas with Chad’s family! Needless to say, few things were certain: it would be hot, we would have fun, and we’d come back with hilarious stories. I’d say mission: accomplished in all three areas!

We flew out Monday morning and had layovers in Dallas and the Motherland. (It was very sad and tempting to not be able to disembark the plane in Austin, let me tell you.) But finally, we made our way to Las Vegas – and the adventure really began!

I asked our cab driver to get us to the hotel quickly, as people were waiting on us there. THIS WAS A MISTAKE. He drove 110 MPH on twisty roads on airport property and on the highways, wove in and out of traffic, crossed 7 lanes of interstate to make our exit (only after seeing the “1/4 mile till your exit” sign) and blew through the light at the intersection of Flamingo and Las Vegas Boulevard (6 lanes). And when I say he blew through the light, I mean it was red, I counted to 6 and then we entered the intersection. I seriously feared for our lives! I will never ask a cab driver to get us somewhere ASAP ever. again.

Within a few hours, everyone had arrived at the hotel (the Tuscany Suites, a block off the Strip) and we settled in for an AMAZING Italian dinner. Because I know you read this blog for the food (ahem, Lindsay), I can tell you that I had the world’s greatest and LARGEST bowl of homemade pesto fettuccini EVER. It seriously could have fed 3 people. And the warm, freshly-baked bread with herbs and olive oil was my weakness, as usual.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Most of our days were filled with wandering the Strip, sightseeing and swimming, and our nights were filled with gambling, eating and all around merriment. Sounds terrible, no? A highlight of mine was riding the roller coaster at New York, New York – that thing rocked! I love roller coasters :) One night, we all decided to play blackjack together – Titanic style. And by that, I mean we all went down together! We kept giving one another chips so that we could continue to play, and we ended up keeping ourselves alive for well over an hour. I was laughing so hard I was crying, and it was definitely a night I’ll never forget!

On our last full day in Vegas we spent the entire day at the Monte Carlo pool/lazy river/wave pool/sand volleyball courts. For free. And meeting a very wealthy couple who graciously paid for about $500 worth of drinks between the 9 of us. Yeah, that day was awesome.

On our last night in Vegas, we headed to Mon Ami Gabi, an awesome restaurant in the Paris Hotel. I had the steak and frites with bernaise sauce, and I can tell you that this was a GREAT decision. Chad and I then split the molten flourless chocolate cake and headed to the casino for one last round of fun. In fact, it was the only night I ended up being the big winner! Always go out on a high note, that’s what I say.

The next morning, Chad’s mom and I cried when we said goodbye (what?! I love that woman!) and we headed (much more slowly) to the airport. We had a super fancy Southwest plane back to Houston, and then were delayed 2.5 hours because of weather in Baltimore – but it ended up being fine, as it gave us plenty of time for dinner and Olympics/football watching. All in all, a great trip!