Dec 12, 2011


So I love cookies. Making them and eating them and eating them and even, eating them.

We had a few friends over this weekend for our Christmas season cookie decorating. I somehow forgot to take pictures of the actual people, but lucky you I snagged some pictures of the cookies.

{Robert Rund}

{Madison O'Connor}

And then as we all snuggled in for a viewing of the Santa Clause... the fire alarm went off. Smoky haze all in the back room and kitchen and then we found these. In the oven.

Funny how hard it is to see smoke in the dark, or even smell it when you're not paying attention... or when you set the 6 minutes on the timer but forget to press the start button.

No damage to the house. We're airing out the smell. And the pan survived without a scratch.

Merry Christmas. Now go bake some cookies... the gingerbread cookie mix goes fast on the supermarket shelves!

Dec 10, 2011

Buffet Table of my Dreams

Literally, the buffet of my dreams. (Not the Golden Corral kind, like the furniture kind.)

Like I literally dream about the furniture I want to buy/find/make.

And I've been thinking about our really large wall in the living room. With the placement of the couches and TV and the shape of the room... it leaves a large flat blank wall.

I wanna put a buffet on one side to give that a little 'area' and then a photo collage wall on the other side to break it up. Some new frames from Black Friday and some old frames from garage sale Saturdays... I'm thinking frames like these? (Ignore the table and chairs.)

But I'm getting carried away... back to the furniture.

So when I sketched this wall in my head, and on paper I always come back to the banquet table.

So this morning we headed out to the garage sales as every other normal Saturday morning. We headed down a very very long windy country road. We stepped out of the truck and I saw it! I could not take my eyes off of it. This was the one.

It came as a "set" which means usually that you have to buy all the pieces and the seller won't let you take just one. So we bought the buffet, the side table thing, and a daybed headboard, frame, and never been slept on still in the wrapper mattress.

For a steal, really! Thank goodness for the small decorating fund I had set aside... because how else do you buy yourself furniture during Christmas?!

So here it is. I love the solid wood, I love the door, I love the hardware and the color and the distressing and the fact that it is actually on hidden wheels...All ready to go, actually on the wall right behind it. (Where the desk currently is because of the Christmas tree asking us if it could stand in the desk's place for the month.)

My only recommendation. Go to a Garage sale sometime soon. It's wonderful.

More to come on getting this thing into place and all setup, oh and that office area I was talking about that'll have to wait til after Christmas...

Dec 5, 2011

Santa's in Lindale.

Who knew that Santa made appearances in Lindale on random Monday nights in December?

Who knew that he'd be parked in our front yard?

We didn't.

We heard a siren and Christmas tunes blaring from a truck that was announcing, "Come students, kids! Santa is here! Mobile Santa is Here!" that's what the pre-printed sign that says "Santa Stops Here," was talking about.

...secretly wish we had kids so we could go over and check it out. Who knows what we'd find in there...?


Note: I did some research, and it's a great ministry! Check it out here!

Nov 30, 2011

Little Dribblers

So I'll pretty much come right out and tell ya that I'm clumsy.

I know many girls in middle school who say they're clumsy and klutzy and things, but mine went way beyond middle school.

I have no hand-eye coordination unless I have a face mask on, and let's just say I was better at dance than anything that involved a ball.  I was one of the tall kids in school, and sure I've been told I have an "athletic" build (although I have no idea what that means). But I have never, and I repeat, never, played a real, actual game of basketball. Not even in P.E.

But guess who's coaching a little girls' basketball team this season?


It's me.

...poor kids. 

We're going to have fun, and they're going to love rocking out to the great music we'll play at practice from my boombox, and they'll call me "coach."

But I have no idea if they'll learn anything about basketball.

But they needed a coach, and they're so young they've never played before. And they tell me I'll get a rule book and videos on basketball drills.  It's like when they needed a coach for the Mighty Ducks and Coach Bombay stepped in... except that he played hockey, and was really good at it, and almost made the pros. ;)

It'll prove to be hilarious. I'm sure we'll have many stories to tell. And I'm not just messing around; I'm going to look up the rules of basketball right now.... and then I'll have to learn how to dribble.

And I guess I'll have to buy a basketball...

Nov 20, 2011

Garage Sale Find!

I've taken some advice and perused pinterest. Funny how I found way more stuff typing "desk" into the search box rather than "office."

Will share later.

But this weekend we found some amazing stuff at a huge garage sale. I told a ton of people because there was so much stuff we wanted to buy it all.

Actually we walked through and were about to leave, but decided to give it another walk through.

Then we bought TONS of stuff.

Gun Replica and Frame (Kyle): $10

This awesome mirror with a huge frame. Kyle actually found this one: $5

Then we found a ton of old bottles, dirty, dusty, but great: FREE, because the lady thought we should have them for our new house ;)

Got a never been used electric ice cream maker: $1 And I know people say they never use these, but my family used to use ours a lot, and I LOVE that ice cream. We didn't register for one when we got married and there have been multiple times when I wish we would have.... $1, we'll take it.

Got a large green vase and a large green bottle for $3. Love the color; they had more green and colored glass but I didn't want us to get all cluttered.

And then Kyle got a rocking chair for $15. Good condition, solid wood. And apparently he's always wanted one. (And it has already been used to rock sweet Baby Pettigrew, so it's already worth it.)

That's our loot. Total $34. We're on our way to decorating a house. (And having yummy ice cream.)

Nov 18, 2011

Oo Fall.

It's fall.

Okay, so it's 70+ degrees out today. But on Saturday I got to put on boots (because it was colder then). And everyday I almost run off the road because I'm so intrigued by the colors of the leaves.... mmmm.

(But don't worry mom, I don't really run off the road).

Pics of the leaves. I tried to get better pictures, but there's only so much you can do when taking pictures while driving...

(Again, mom I was really safe.)

Enjoy the fall.

Nov 17, 2011

No More Classes.

I'm sure there are so many of you that love to read about my grad school classes, that love to hear I have an exam or an assignment or how my teachers are completely different characters than I thought they'd be.


No more grad classes.

Because I took my very last final last night!


And so I'm celebrating. I guess by writing this post and I'll probably get Kyle to buy me ice cream or something later.

Because today I'm done with my grad school classes!

And tomorrow... well, tomorrow I start preparing for my comprehensive exam and it's full force ahead on the thesis writing, statisical analysis and all.

You didn't think I was really done with all of grad school did you? I'd make Kyle buy me more than ice cream when that day comes. I'm thinking a really large charm necklace that says "I love my husband even though I ignored him for the first two years of our marriage to finish my masters."


Nov 16, 2011

House Project: The "Office"

Project one ought to be small. Not the kitchen, or a big space. Just something little.

The "office."

We have a two bedroom, two living room house. But somehow neither of the extra rooms is the "office." Instead the desk is in the main living room. It fits there. And I like it there. But it's lonely. (Excuse our "moving" mess.)

And here's what I'm thinking...

I'm thinking three frames on the left for my undergrad degree, for my internship completion certificate, and then a blank one with some funny/motivating message. I'm not trying to show off degrees here, it's literally to motivate me to finish my thesis while I sit for hours at that desk working on it.

Then I'm thinking some small pictures on the bottom right and a 1 or 2-color panted canvas on the top right. Like these but with a more office-y message... then again these messages work too. Remind me to take a break and think about what really matters.

Then I'm up for ideas. Really.

Any ideas...Colors, I'm going to paint the desk some color...although I like the white-ish tones, antique white. Will paint the wall some color when I get to the rest of the living room.

But I would love ideas! Links, pictures, anything! What are you doing in your "office" or pinning on your pinterest, lol?

Nov 12, 2011

The House Project Begins

So I'm real excited about this announcement, and real in need of your help.

No, no, no... we are not having a baby.

But we have a house.

And I have no idea how to decorate.

See I would like to think of myself as an artistic person... I can paint, I can sew, I can watercolor, I bake and decorate cakes, etc. I can even pick out one thing I like: like "oh wow I love that sweater" or "oh wow I love that desk." But then ask me to match the sweater with anything similar and I'm out. Ask me to decorate a room to complement the desk and that's an entirely different story.

Then we bought a house; my bad.

So I'm thinking I'll put up sections of the house and I'm going to ask for your ideas. I'll draw up some sketched and then I wanna know what matches. Really, I'm not kidding, I'm lucky I wear the same color of scrubs every day provided by my workplace... no matching needed.

I'm calling it The House Project.

Stay tuned. And get your decorating minds warmed up.

Nov 11, 2011

Veteran's Day

Working for the VA makes me love our Veterans. Some people complain about their patients or their customers, but my idea is that unless you have customers you're out of a job. And also, these guys fought so we could have freedom. Can't thank them enough. I love my Veterans.

So today in the irony that I have the day off for Veteran's Day (irony being that the VA clinic closes to honor Veterans...) I spent the day living up my freedom.

Slept in (until about 8am).

Then headed out garage sale-ing with my friend Amanda and her awesome kiddos. We headed to the first sale, and the she told me about the elementary school Veteran's Day program. With me in tow to help with her two kiddos we could go attend her other kid's school program.

She liked to say that she tricked or kidnapped me. But I had a blast.

Hearing 500plus elementary school kids sing Grand Ole Flag, laughing at Boston who thought we were talking about him the whole time, making her youngest smile when she hated to be in the car seat. More garage sale-ing, reading Dr. Seuss, eating corn dogs, making Moon Pies explode in the microwave.

Day well spent. Thanks.

My only regret is that I didn't pull out my camera.

(The House Project is coming soon... stay tuned.)

Nov 1, 2011

Little Victories

So I got a really great email today.

From my advisor/professor in charge of my thesis.

I've been APPROVED!!! Fully approved!!

I could not be more excited! And I'm sure it doesn't seem as exciting as duct taped curtains or buying a new house or anything. But to be honest, I've spent more time working on this thesis than we did shopping for, researching, and even living in our new house.

So it's exciting. It really is

But, I do want to clarify though. Many of you have asked when I'll be finished with my thesis, or if I'm already finished... well, I'm not finished.

I just got final approval. Which means I can finally START my thesis.

Long process. I know. But after this, all the instructions all the steps are already lined out. I'm using what's called retrospective data which means the data was already collected for another purpose and I'm using it to analyze something else. So I get a spread sheet, run statistics, interpret the data, write the results, then the long parts of beefing up the review of literature from the proposal and figuring out the discussion.

For the non-researchers out there. It's like I've been planning and shopping this whole time and the big event's finally here.... well, unless you consider finishing, or submitting, or defending, or graduating as the big event.

In that case the big event is May.

:) Enjoy your little victories today. Enjoy that someone 'lets' you do a lot of work. And if you're a nerd like me, rejoice with me in 'thesis' victories.

Oct 31, 2011

Oh Halloween and Curtains

Not sure we were quite ready for the first holiday at the new house.  Not sure I, unlike my parents, have ever been ready for trick or treaters before.  Last year at the rent house we got really excited and then no one showed up... but that's what you get when half the town boycotts Halloween because it's on a Sunday.

This year we accidentally missed the only Halloween party and a paper for my stats class almost made me miss Halloween. But I woke up this morning and put my orange headband on and I was ready.

Turns out, other than the super fun crazy ladies at the front desk, no one had any Halloween on. No one. Like I expected orange or pumpkin scrubs or costume ears and candy in the break room. But oddly, nothing.  I applauded the ladies at the front desk and I told everyone Happy Halloween on my way out.

So I was inspired to go to Walmart and spend too much on candy, because let's be honest, as a dietitian I want to make sure these kids are getting the best candy for the calories, right?

Then I remembered that we just moved.  We just moved into a house with no blinds, or curtains, or anything. We've had sheets hung on most of the walls since the move (because we are still waiting on samples from the blinds company).  But we don't have any up in the living room.

Pretty much meant I could not hide from trick or treaters without turning all the lights out in the entire house. And everyone that walked up to our house would be able to see not only all of our things, but all of our mess.

So I got some duct tape and I made it work.




See it doesn't look half bad for a quick fix. (Don't worry, we don't in any, any way intend on making these anywhere near permanent...)

Then I got the porch setup.  Made sure the kids could see the candy so they'd be lured to the house. And I waited (while eating candy, watching hulu, and wearing my orange headband).

At about 7:05 or so I had the first trick or treater. Cut little guy dressed up like a zombie knight.

Then I waited.

And at about 9:35 I had two kids: Lindale Eagles football player and vampire. I gave them very large handfuls of candy and they yelled "WOAH!" as they went running back to their mom excited.  Don't worry mom, if they end up with obesity because of this incident I'll counsel them for free...

Good night. Didn't compare to the 1000 pieces of candy my mom handed out in 50 minutes... but I can honestly say I didn't run out of candy.  Had gumbo Kingsley-style for Halloween and got the night off from school work because our assignments haven't been posted yet.  :)

Happy Halloween. :) And to all of you who posted really cute pictures of your kids in costume, keep em coming!

PS - Just opened an email from the blinds place. They say the samples were "lost in transit." Feeling like that's not the best way to start business... also feel like we may have the duct tape curtains up a little bit longer...

Oct 27, 2011

Rent House ...

So we bought our own house, no more landlord or anything.

Or so we thought. Turns out that in our rent house (the one we just moved out of) there was a little statement in the lease that said if any of the plants die, the deposit will be used to replace the plants.

Well, we had a drought this summer. It turned into a desert, trees and bushes are dead everywhere in East Texas.

And we even planted grass in the yard, when there was NO grass when we moved in!

But apparently that doesn't count towards yard credit. Apparently our landlord didn't really think we did a great job with the grass or the bushes (or the small tree that died). Even though our water bill skyrocketed...

And I was about to get all worked up (well I kind of did) when she said, "well, I'll go to a nursery and factor in the cost of replacement plants, and the labor to get the old plants removed and new ones planted, and the tree to be cut up and hauled away..."

But then she said, "or if you guys wanted to do it, that would be okay too."

YES! Yes of course we would rather take a Saturday (after hunting garage-sales) and replant some plants and cut down the 4 foot tree (ish) and put it in the back of Kyle's pickup and take it to the dump we pay for monthly in local town utilities anyway... much more than we'd like our hard earned money to go to someone else who will charge too much to do it.

So I got excited and thought, "It'll be exercise, it'll be fun, and of course I can take pictures and post the before and after on the blog." (I'm thinking we'll see a lot more before and afters with the new house!)

And maybe this means so much to me because Kyle said I could use the money we got back from our deposit to decorate the new house ;)

What about you, any security deposit craziness, or better yet, any falltime yard projects?

Oct 22, 2011

Moving Day (or Night).

This is what our house looked like Thursday night.

I know it looks like a mess, but it's the evidence of a lot of love and hard work.

Thursday night was moving day. And because of all the school work I've had, I really had absolutely no time to pack. But with Kyle's work schedule, and all of our friends' work schedules. It was the only time we could move.

We thought we'd have 2-3 helpers. Just enough to maybe move the big items (beds, couches, tables, dressers), and then I'd spend the weekend slowly moving everything else over. Mostly because I hadn't prepared ahead of time.

And so our good friend Robert showed up, and Clinton soon after. The boys headed over with the first load and then Kathryn and Brian arrived. Then Tamara and Mike. Then the Morgans, kids and all, were there to help. So we ordered what we thought would be enough pizza and then Kelly and Malcom came and Jill pulled up right after!

We had so many people that I didn't even know what to do. I was sent to the new house to show people where things would go, Kyle and the other men were doing the heavy lifting and everyone else was filling their cars with items one by one and driving them over to the new house.

We could have prepared a little (A LOT) more, but we just didn't have the time. This move just didn't work out that way.

And on a night when the Rangers played a fabulous ball game in the World Series… our friends missed it to help us move. Bad backs, pregnant bellies, babies in the cars, and busy busy busy people who this time of the year get no time off, and even less time off with their spouses...they all showed up to help us move.

And for that, we could not be more grateful.

For this "mess" I am very very thankful.

And also for the extra pizza that was ordered when we ran out. I still don't know who paid for it, but thank you… Sorry we ran out, but the extra pizza is what I had for breakfast Friday morning when I had no idea where anything else was.


Maybe we'll have to setup the house and have you all over for a Christmas cookie decorating party! (Because I think it'll take until Christmas to get all this setup, lol…)

Love your friends today. We surely love ours :)

Oct 19, 2011

Got 5 Minutes: Moving Madness!

So we're moving and boxes are everywhere and so we have to be ready to go for hauling the big stuff tomorrow!


In the middle of all of this I have a project due in class... that involves a survey.

Help a girl out and take my survey! Please! It's really fast!

Thanks! Back to packing!

Oct 17, 2011

Hess House Update: Wooo Hoo

So I thought we'd have to wait until Thursday... and honestly I thought I'd get a few more blog posts out of But...


I was so excited that I had to share the great news! We have the keys and everything!

I was going to tell you all about the craziness of this purchase, the craziness of the past month of my life, the reasons I have a pimple larger than my nose on my face at the moment...

But now all I can think of is how excited I am that we got the house :)

Pics to come. Waiting for the hubby to get home tonight to go explore our new home ;) That other picture was from the first time we saw it...

(But if we're moving this week, that means I have to hurry and finish my stats homework!)

So ahead and start saving for where you'll live tomorrow, but remember to take the time to enjoy where you live today :)

Oct 15, 2011

Hess House Update: Finding the One

So this house situation is a little complicated.

Let me run you through the ordeal. I do this not to make you feel sorry for us, or to let off steam... because I'm not really angry or frustrated at all at this point. This is more for your entertainment (I laughed a lot at the insanity) and for your information, just in case you ever chose to buy a house.

So it started out easy. We had been looking at houses online in the area since March.  We found a really neat old house online while we were still in Colorado, but then it went up for auction, and then we saw it in person, and we laughed and laughed that we ever considered it, or that any human would ever live there again without Bob Vila and Norm Abram's help...

Then there was the house that I had been eyeing since March. After looking at crazy-old-house-gone-wrong I wanted to go check out this other house. We had been watching it and the price had just dropped by $5000. Yep. So we headed over.

1. We checked out the house for ourselves, and compared it to other homes in the area. (Note, there weren't any other homes in the area that were in our price range that were even decent...)
2. We made our friend's Tam and Mike go visit the outside of the house after church one day. They approved.
3. We took along our handy friend John, his decor-savvy wife Amanda, and their kids (to determine if the house was playable, right?) to see the house again with the Realtor. And they approved.
4. Then I emailed my mom and dad and everyone at work with the link to the house to see what they thought.

And then after some prayer, some more internet searching, rechecking our finances, making sure all the bank pre-approval documents were in...we decided to buy the house!

Would I recommend this method?

Yes. Get your friend's and family's opinion; they can look a little more objectively and tell you not to jump into a horrible or ugly house just because it's a good deal and just because you're "attached." Ask your Realtor what he or she thinks. They may not be as objective because they make money if you buy the house, but they've seen a lot of houses and may have some good info. And if you have a handy friend or someone who can tell you the decorating potential of the home, bring them! We may have never known about the small and very convenient water heater under the kitchen sink if John hadn't stuck his head under the cabinet... no more running out of hot bath water when the dishwasher's running...

So we think we picked a winner. Clean, seemingly good condition, new carpet, new paint, new stove top, new microwave. And retro, but totally fixable or embraceable, lol, oh the paneling...

How's that for a sneak peak of the house? The house that still may or may not be ours. (Not just trying to tease you, we really don't know yet.)

More to come on making an offer, signing and re-signing the contract, and of course closing? maybe?

Oct 14, 2011

Good for my Soul

Good Friday. It's payday Friday at my workplace so everyone was extra perky around the office.... 

And then I headed out to see some patients. One looked at me and smiled really really big and then:

Patient: Hello Miss Brittany! (With Large Smile on his Face).
Me: Well hello!
Patient: Miss Brittany, why are you so happy? You just look so happy with your smile. So up to par.

Hold it... did he say "up to par?" Yes, yes he did.

Me: Oh... thanks.
Patient: Well you know, the last couple of times, you know you haven't been so up to par (apparent he's referring to my looks) ... but this time Miss Brittany, up to par! up to par!

Hmm. I guess I could have been offended, but it was Friday, it was sunny, and I'll tell you what: I had the best hair day today and I think I did look, in fact, "up to par." So I said thanks and continued on. Made me smile a lot really, made me even more thankful that I had decided to shower this morning and put a little mascara on...

Yesterday I saw a patient who doesn't really have any nutrition problems other than the fact that he's a bit overweight.  At his age it'll be hard for him to lose the weight, so I just try to stay real positive. And yesterday he told me, and I quote, "Thanks for talking with me. You know, you're good for my soul."

Mmm. I like being good for someone's soul.

Happy Friday. Love the weekend, but love your job too. And enjoy your Friday night as I enjoy my pizza and study madness for the midterm tomorrow.

And know that I was going to leave you with a picture of my pizza, or even a picture of the weird neat bug I found... but the camera just died...

Happy Friday.... Good for the soul.

Oct 11, 2011


It's been a long day. We may or may not have closed on a house. How do we not know, well that's a long story. Don't worry though I'll share it later this week.

For now I've got assignments out the wazoo for my stat's class not to mention the midterm exam and possibly...possibly moving into the new house. Or at least packing... maybe?

But until then, I was procrastinating and found this video on Pinterest. It's part of the Pink Glove Dance Competition. Super cute, I even voted for it...

But warning, if you've had a really long day that included a whole lot of driving and waiting and hurrying and unexpected and closing closing closing-ness... it could make you cry. Don't worry, it's not sad at all. But if your a woman in a slightly emotional state you could get so inspired that you start crying, lol, maybe? (Maybe the slow motion starting at about 2:00 minutes?)

Yep watched it again. Same results.

Enjoy (while I'm studying). And of course, Happy Pinktober.

Oct 10, 2011


Kyle and I both had football filled weekends. As he headed up to Nebraska with his dad I headed down to Baton Rouge to see my fam, and of course, the Tigers play.

Death Valley. Tiger Victory.

Parking far enough away that you're not really sure if your car will still be in the yard you paid $10 to park in...

Love Dad!

Mom's Gumbo with Dad's Deer Sausage, Mom's Potato Salad, and cheering Nebraska on to victory in the living room after a crazy comeback and a lot of Corn Dancing...

Love the fam. But sadly didn't get any pictures of Mom, Jared, Logan, Aunt Pam, or Uncle Steve... oops.

And what could help me feel better as I returned back to Texas away from the fam... Well,  the gas prices when I returned home last night and paid 2.99 for gas. Yep 2.99!!!

Enjoy Columbus Day. I hope you get the day off too... or maybe you live in Louisiana and you'll end up getting Mardi Gras off later :)

Oct 2, 2011

Car Math

I'm not sure how many of you love math, or finances, or spending way more money than you would like to. And I know it's not super polite to talk about money, right?

But I'm going to anyway.

See, in the dilemma of the car breakdown I did a lot of calculating to determine if it was worth it to repair the Saturn.  All emotions aside, we wanted to make the smart decision, no matter how much I loved the car.

Going into the car breakdown I knew that my car ate oil like crazy; which 'they' say is a sign of a bad engine. "Oh you're car's using a lot of oil, well then you won't get much longer out of that car." And then I hear that horrible sound coming from the car and I just know it's done for.

So I looked up the value of the Saturn in average condition with the 120,000 miles it has on it, and like it was running just fine.

Car Value = $1745

Then I get the call from the guy at the shop with the details of the repair.  Turns out the reason my car was using so much oil was because of the PVC valve.  Apparently this valve can get stuck open slowly letting all the oil out of the engine.  Turns out my engine is in "great condition."  Also turns out the loud noises were coming from the A/C compressor clutch! They'll need to replace the compressor, the dryer, the belt, but not the condenser because the compressor had not, and I quote the mechanic "eaten itself yet."

Cost of the repair = $1255


So when doing the math it looks obvious. Seems like it may be time to get a new car if the repairs are almost the value of the car. Right? But then I did some more research.  Remember how the Saturn gets 35 mpg? Any care newer than 2000 that gets at least 35mpg was at least $6000 or $8000 or $10,000 plus.  And I put 90 miles on my car every day.

We don't have kids. We don't use my car to do much more than drive me to work. If we buy a new car now we'll have a car note (because both of our vehicles are paid off). There's no sense in buying a brand new car if it looses a million % of it's value when I drive it off the lot, and I put almost 500 miles on it a week.  And right now everyone seems to want a fairly used car with great gas mileage, so people are paying way more then the typical "used car" value for cars.

New Car
Fairly Used Car with Decent Gas Mileage
Repair the Saturn

I called my dad who said "You could buy another used car and have the compressor go out on it tomorrow. At least you'll know this car has a relatively new starter, fuel pump, and brand new compressor and dryer." And then I called another shop in town to check the price of the repair.  Another shop said they'd probably charge a little more.

So Kyle and I decided to get the Saturn repaired.  We had money in our Emergency Fund thanks to good ole Dave Ramsey and this was a month with three bi-weekly paydays when we only expect two (how convenient). Oh Jehovah Jireh.

Sure some of you would have advised buying the new car.... but we'll wait until we have babies and we need a "safe" vehicle with airbags everywhere and a 10.5 star crash safety rating, lol.

Consider repairing.  It's what people used to do all the time.

Sep 27, 2011

For the Love of the Car

So I'm not sure any of you knew exactly how much I loved my car.

Matter of fact, I'm not sure I even know how much I loved my car.

If you read the previous post you know that a tragedy struck yesterday.  But you may not know the whole story...

So my brother and I woke up one Christmas morning in high school hoping to get things like CDs and clothes and cake decorating things... When we finished opening the presents Jared and I got a little wrapped tin (like the kind for gitcards) and we opened it to find 2 KEYS!!

As we got really excited (there was never any previous talk of getting a car), really really excited, my dad said, "we made you keys to mom's van so you can drive it more!"

Really. Oh we felt horrible. Then my dad got us to go try out our new keys, and after getting way too excited about keys to mom's van we figured we probably should humor him as to not make him feel bad for not buying us a car...

And we walked into the garage to find (maybe you guessed it) THE SATURN! It had a huge red bow on it and I think I fell in love right then.

See most people wouldn't think of a 1997 Saturn SL as luxury. But it really is...except for well, Kyle and my Dad and anyone else over 6 feet tall because they wouldn't fit in it.  But it's got a CD player that my mom and dad put in....
and well, like I said it gets 35 miles to the gallon...
and it doesn't have power locks so if I lock my keys in the car twice in one morning and I accidentally forget to lock the back passenger side door, I can just open the door and get my keys out... (happened, twice)
and when everyone else is upset when their automatic windows go out, I can just use that bicep muscle and crank those windows up.

It's basic. It's made of plastic. It gets 35 miles to the gallon. And I love it.

And I had no idea how much until today.  Today I called the tow truck to take my car to the shop and when the guy showed up I met him outside.  I waited for him to hook up the chains, and I winced when they clanked against the car! I watched him lift the car up on the platform and I worried that it could fall or what if someone hit the tow truck on the way to the shop and my car got hurt?

And then I stood there and watched him drive away until I could not see him anymore.

I was like a mother sending her only son away to the war. I was like a mom dropping her baby off at daycare on her first day back to work. I was like... crazy.

I talked to the guy at the shop and I asked a million questions. What were they replacing, how would they replace it. What does compressor or PCV (yep, not PVC) mean and would my car be okay?

He told me the Saturn had a great engine. And I was actually proud.  He told me that the Saturn was repairable and a great car.  Maybe he was buttering me up, but he knew just how to do it.

And then I thought, oh my goodness, what will I even do when we have kids?!?

Sep 26, 2011

Worse Sound I Ever Heard.

So I was driving to work today in my trusty 1997 Gold Saturn SL. LOVE this car. It gets 35 miles to the gallon and I tell everyone about it...

And today when I started the car the RPMs revved up without me doing anything. But then they went down and I started on my 45 mile journey to work.  I thought the car may have sounded a little funny, so I rode the entire way without the radio. And then I told myself I was being silly.


As I pulled into work and the noise of the road was diminishing, I heard it. The clanky clank sound of death coming out of my engine like steel clowns were juggling tin cans.

(Then I decided to wait until the end of the day to worry about it because I was "too busy" at work)

4:30pm. Called Dad. Called Kyle. Ran around the office to see if anyone lived anywhere near me and would let me hitchhike home with them... No time today to get it looked at, but we'll check out the repair shops in the area and see if they say anything other than the Saturn's Eulogy.

I wanna think about how we close on a house on Friday and my car breaks down this week. I wanna think about how I painstakingly checked the oil every time I filled up. I wanna think about how I got the oil changed on time, and how even though I waited too long to get the tires rotated...I still rotated them. I wanna think about how I took care of this car better than most people and it still may die today. ...we'll see.

But really I need to just think about how grateful I am. For the fact that my husband doesn't need his truck this week. For the fact that we have an emergency fund. And for the woman at the front desk that drove me 20 miles out of her way to get me home. And who told great stories about her own cars while doing it. I am eternally grateful.

Sep 25, 2011

Exhibit A

I'm afraid the new busyness of fall has gotten the best of me blog-wise.


I'm proud to report that fall busyness has not gotten the best of me all together.

I feel as if our lives have been more put together recently. Maybe it's because I don't move 923 miles ever two weeks. Maybe it's because school keeps me on a tighter schedule.  Maybe it's because even when we travel out of town every weekend and have random events pop up on a moment's notice, something about fall feels more stable.

And somehow things are happening. Well, it's more than likely the Lord being faithful.

Exhibit A: Grass
In the 105 degree weather of the East Texas summer, Roomie Lindsey and I failed at our attempts to grow grass.  See we just have a yard of dirt, nope not dead grass, literally dirt. So Kyle and I and the remaining seeds went to work with water and love and more and more water. And today...


Exhibit B: Laundry
So we're not all the way through the pile of laundry, but I have done multiple loads this weekend and now you can see the floor in the bedroom. :) But I edited a cute chore list from Pinterest, and I think that will help. {Note this one isn't mine, I changed it to me more Hess Family friendly.}

Exhibit C: the Thesis
My thesis got approved by the hospital. BIG STEP. Now I can really start running all the fun statistics and collecting data! Nerdy? Yes, but really really exciting in the Hess house.

Exhibit D: House
We may be closing on the house this week. Are you kidding, we could be homeowners... and then I have more excuses to Pinterest :)

{Not my current home... only inspiration.}

Things are going. We're real live people and although there is no 'regular' to our lives or schedules... it's a good Fall. And I've got some projects coming... not to mention the whole decorate your home thing or the whole write your thesis thing.

What about you? Fall happy?

Sep 18, 2011


So we just pulled into town after a busy weekend and didn't make the healthiest choice... but the Long John Silvers just reopened in town...

When ordering the smallest fish meal combo they had...

We also got a "free/complimentary 10-piece chicken bucket?..."

The guy at the window didn't say we were the 100th customer, or that it was a promotion for the new store. He just handed us a huge bucket of chicken and said it was "complimentary." Hmmm...

Did we mention it was one of those KFC/Long John Silvers.

So we ended up with the least healthy meal possible... and a lot of leftover chicken.

And did we laugh at how huge the bucket of free chicken was? Yes, yes we did.

(Stories and Pics of our crazy wonderful weekend soon to come :)

Sep 13, 2011

Oh Crazy Life.

So life has gotten crazy again in the way that life gets when you have things like homework...

But you really wanna play around on Pinterest... or read the new manual you found to your new kiln for your new hobby...

This is my life.

Note the tabs at the top:
"Ceramic Class Free On Line"
"PSYC 542": AKA My Statistics Class
"": Tracking the location of one of my books for my statistics class.

Or maybe the bottom tabs:
"Windows Task Manager": Because I have the slowest computer you've ever seen.
Microsoft Word... PSYC homework.

That's my life right now, lol. Until we have the interns over for dinner! Or until we go to a Nebraska football game IN Nebraska! Or until we hear back everything on the house!

But of course, if you're busy today, take time to relax after all the work is done. PSYC homework complete: I'm headed to relax :)

Sep 10, 2011

Garage Sale FIND!!

Oh my goodness!

We bought a kiln!

Could not be more EXCITED! And it was such a great deal, you have no garage sales!

P.S. - in case you are thinking, what is a kiln?! It's like a big oven for making pottery or porcelain... and this one came with molds!!

What'd you find at garage sales today?

Sep 8, 2011


Okay so I know I promised pictures... but our camera is at a friend's house. Ooops.
Luckily Kyle got a fancy smart phone and he just emailed me some pics :)

My and my awesome sister!!

 Yay for Victory! (Sorry my elbows bend weird).

But I'll wait for all the stories of awesome Labor Day weekend...

But I just had to update everyone because I'm coming along so quickly on the fall list, and it's not even fall yet!!

A.  I joined Pinterest. I'm not sure all of how it works yet, and the server is slow if you log on at peak hours... but I think it's going to do wonders for our future home..

B. YEP! We may have a new home!!!! It's pending inspection right now, but things have been signed and we cannot wait to see if it'll really be ours! (Then I'll spill all the details).

C. And we even had a Labor day BBQ, and went to some fun dinner and parties already! Oh community, how I love you.

D. And SCHOOL started today! My last first day of school. Statistics started today, and it's my LAST class :)

 So our fall is really productive. And there's even more to come. Really. So many things. I think fall may be my favorite, did I mention college football started too ;)

What are you doing this fall? You know the wonderful weather's made you think about it...

Sep 3, 2011

Arlington here we come!

So we're headed to Arlington right this minute..

For the LSU GAME!!

We could not be more excited, we even bought new LSU shirts and everything. (Harder to get in Texas than Louisiana). And I tried to teach Kyle the fight song, and I serenaded him with the Alma Mater ;) And we ate boudin this week...

And I even watched videos online so that I know what to expect from the game... because we all know I don't follow LSU in the off-season. And it being the first game of the year I have nothing to go off of.

Weird part: the players are now younger than me and it makes me feel old. On the other hand: some of the players that were playing when I was at LSU are still there... making me feel young again!

Awesome part: my sister will be on the sidelines working her tail off... look for her on TV, she'll be the really gorgeous one carrying water bottles ;)

Geaux Tigers!!

(Pics to come of course!!)

Sep 2, 2011

And we wait.

I distinctly remember the last time I continued to repeat outloud, over and over again, with no self control whatsoever, "This is Crazy!"

It was almost two years ago, and Kyle had just asked me to marry him. You can ask anyone who was there, or anyone who has seen the embarassing video and they will tell you, "yes, all Brittany did was jump up and down excited saying, "this is crazy!"

Which gives me a good feeling about this. Today, we made an offer on our first home.

Yep, we're real grown ups and sitting in the realtor's office early this morning I had to continue to tell myself 'don't say it again, you already said "this is crazy" 15 times.'

And we're excited and nervous and all kinds of anxious to know what the seller will say. Will they accept our offer, will they want more? It's a good exciting though, one where we know our ducks are in a row, our financial calculations met, and we really do like the house. And really if God for some reason doesn't think this house is good for us, well, we pray they don't take our offer at all.

Our realtor said we could hear back in 2 hour or 2 days...

The 2 hours is up and we're waiting. Yep. Can't think about anything else at all and waiting.

And yes, it's so crazy!

( If all goes well I'll surely put up pictures... however, what if you're the seller reading this and you see the picture of your house and you see that we really want it, and you ask us to spend way too much?? :)

Aug 31, 2011


With the fall coming, it means our lives kick up another notch. When I say notch, I mean another statistics class and the projects, homework, and textbooks that come along with it.  I mean, Back-to-School.

I look at this fall with a new excitement. About how artsy it will be, about making my own bread, about loving well the people around us.

So once again here comes the list. Kind of like the one I didn't accomplish this summer... or the 235,391,208 that I made on post-its at work this year. Really.

Fall (in no particular order)...

1. Live in Community. Sure it's broad, sure it's not a S.M.A.R.T. goal. But I wanna do it. I wanna see other people, and have them over to our home, and cook for them, and write them cards, and bring cookies on their birthdays, and laugh... a lot.

2. Lose the 10 pounds I gained this summer at Ute. You thought I was kidding, but I was not. Turns out that I gain 10 pounds every summer, drop a couple in the fall, replace them all during the holidays, and then lose the rest of the 10 pounds by May. Just in time to head to camp again. (More on that later... always).

3. Bake bread from scratch. I did this in college, and it's not that hard. And it'd be yummy.

Okay, so I didn't make these, Pioneer Woman did... but soon...

4. Buy a pumpkin.

5. Buy a house. (It's a little more expensive than a pumpkin... but we're looking into it anyways.)

6. Finish my statistics class... and finish the statistics for my thesis. (Which is being approved as we speak. Fingers crossed.)

7. Join Pinterest. So I said I wouldn't join until I finished my Masters for obvious reasons. But now I am "allowed" to join IF I only look for new easy healthy dinner ideas and party food. (And if we buy a house, maybe decor stuff ???)

8. Make a list of meals. At least 50. that we like. That we can eat. I'll have sections for cold and hot weather. Turns out we have a lot of cold weather meals and when it's 108 outside I have nothing to cook!

9. Still look into buying a sewing machine. Maybe if Kyle gets to buy a claw machine (yep... a claw machine) then I get to buy a sewing machine... right? We'll see what we've got left after the house.

But that's it. An uneven nine. I'll add to it I'm sure. But I'm starting smaller this time. And of course I didn't mention calling my mom, or loving my husband, or the MUST of having a Bible study with the ladies or celebrating thanksgiving... because those I will do for sure anyway.

What will you be doing this fall?? Or can you even think about it in the 108 degree heat?? Or is it way way too early to even call it fall??
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