Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A big happy my little sister!

It's hard to believe that it's already time to write another happy birthday post for my sister!  (the third year in a row...which is crazy because that means my blog has been around in 2009, 2010 and now 2011...)  This year she is 23.  Which yep, that makes me feel very old but also realize how fast time passes.  

Over this past year, my sister and really grown up because she has graduated from college and got a REAL job.  Yes, she is no longer allowed to talk bad about my friends and I and our crazy email chains that happen sometimes throughout the day at work - she now gets it.  Right Lyndsay??

Anyways - look who we ran into just last week.  The Bieb!!!

Ok, not really - that was just at Macy's but she so graciously played along with my excitement in seeing this cardboard cut out of him and posed with me.  That's what sister are for, right?

We have had some distant interaction with other famous people this year, including our annual trip to see the Taylor Swift concert at Arrowhead stadium in September!!  So fun!!  That was my birthday present from her - and so far mine for her birthday is not that great.  It's pretty fun, but I think I will tag onto the shopping we will be doing late Thursday evening into Friday morning - hmm k??!

Ok so my sister has been in KC permanently and living with my parents.  Which is great.  For everyone.  I've heard she's a pretty good house guest at my parents and cooks dinner...but besides the fact that I like having her just a short drive away to do random stuff with me like go see movies that Jimmy doesn't want to see or just come over and sit and watch a movie with her at my parents house (and eat my parent's food...yes, I revert back to a 16 year old the minute I walk back into my parents house....), I like that HER CLOSET is just a short drive away.  So serious.  For pretty much every event or anything where I feel like my clothes are lacking I don't go to the store like a normal person, I just go to Lyndsay's closet and go "shopping".  Which includes me trying on multiple dresses and then going upstairs to show my mom, sister and dad.  The girls give their thoughts and then it's back downstairs to try more on.  It's actually really fun.  Oh and free.  She has a great sense of style and is always finding really cute dresses, etc for cheap.  So I'm very grateful for her willingness to let me borrow stuff all the time.  We both know it didn't go down that way 10 years ago.  Haha.  Just ask my parents about that - it always ended in lots of yelling between us.  Oh how things change?!

Just check out my Austin outfits for the wedding and rehearsal dinner we just attended down there.

Wedding outfit - cute black/white dress:

Oh and there is my sister on graduation...yep she wore it for her graduation.  And that green dress that I LOVE??!?!  That's hers too.  I have actually worn that one a few times because I love it so much!!  Thanks Lyndsay for having a great sense of style and letting me leech off you!

So I mentioned that she graduated from college, right??  Here is a picture complete with her cap and gown with the Bruns girls.  After graduation she got an awesome job which is pretty much her dream job at the American Cancer Society at a community fund leader (not sure if that is her correct title...), but she coordinates and works with the volunteers to raise money for the Relay for Life events to help raise money for cancer research each year.  Pretty awesome, huh?  She loves it and loves how she helps people through her work!!!  So proud of her!

Here's a full family picture at Katie and Barry's wedding in July!

And finally - while most people say we don't look alike, when we were up in Iowa this fall, my grandparents couldn't tell us apart!!  But I guess when I look at this picture - I kind of understand why!  We look so much alike with our hair and matching glasses!!!

Well Lyndsay - I remember when you came home from the hospital and I was just 3 years old and when you were crying and my parents were letting you "cry it out" and I took the liberty of getting you out of your crib and trying to carry you down to them.  I wish the look on their faces when they saw me carrying you down the stairs. Wow.  I'm very thankful that I didn't drop you!!  But I look at that now as a great sisterly act!!  Because guess what?  Whenever and wherever in life now or down the road you need me to pick up your slack or carry you for a little while if you are upset or things are not going your way - I will be there.  And I'll be there through all the fun times and celebrations too.  I love you so much and couldn't be more thankful for such a wonderful sister!!!  Hope you have a great day!!!!  And cheers to many many more birthdays together!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fall week night date

As it seems the weekend nights fill up fast, Jimmy and I have been trying our best to make time for week night dates if we can.  Since I'm in class on Thursday nights - we have 3 nights to work with.  A couple weeks ago on a Monday morning, I got an email from my VP saying that she had some tickets that she and her family weren't using to the KU men's basketball game that next night, first come, first serve.  Knowing that there is never ever a time when Jimmy would not be up for attending a KU basketball game (or KU event for that matter), I jumped on it for a nice week night date!

So when Tuesday rolled around - we made a whole date out of it.  My mom was nice enough to go let our dogs out and feed them so we could both leave right from work and we were off to Lawrence.  Now...I went to K-State, love Manhattan a lot....but I have to admit that I do really like Lawrence.  It's a  pretty neat town.   What do I like most about Lawrence...Jefferson's!  I have blogged about it before (herehere, here and here - wow that's a lot of mentions for a restaurant...ehhh).  Of course we made a dinner out of it before going to the game.  Fried pickles + Wings = always a good time.

We got to Allen Fieldhouse right about the start of the game and were able to get right to our seats.  Even for an exhibition game, it was pretty packed!

Jimmy made me take this one....

We did spot the mascot in the student section a few times.  The little girl sitting next to us - LOVED the mascot, which was pretty cute!

The standard couple pic.  Gotta have it.  You know, so I can look back and this and say "Oh remember we were ACTUALLY there...."

Some game time action against Fort Hays State.

Overall, it was a very fun evening, even if it was a KU game.  It was nice to see how happy Jimmy was!!  But with the parking pass and great seats - I did say that if we had those luxuries every game, I would happily come along.

In the mean time though - I cannot only blog about KU, right?  Especially with how AWESOME K-State football is doing this year!!!  So this weekend Jimmy picked me up this sweet ring from Nigro's for me to sport during the K-State games.  I'm not going to lie, at first I thought he just found it because I walked in and it was sitting on the counter - but it was so nice that he thought of me AND bought we something from an opposing team.  He's a keeper and so is the ring.

Also - I have found some pretty fun date night posts on pinterest that I might have to take advantage of!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

In college...

Does anyone else know that Pat Green song, "College"?  Well for some reason - early this Saturday morning as I am up to kick off the weekend with a grad school group meeting at 9AM...that song is sounding in my head.  I LOVE that song.  Really I just love Pat Green a lot, but that song too!

Anyway - the events that went down this Thursday night are a continual reminder of getting older aka a little more responsible.  So I got off work a little after 5, drove home, changed, ate dinner really fast and then around 6:15 headed down to UMKC, which is where I'm getting my MBA part time in the evening at (about 15/20 min away), for my 7PM class.  I was talking on my phone to Vanessa on my way to class and when I got to campus, it was strangely dark.  Like no street lights...really no lights anywhere. Which made me feel great as I pulled into the super dark parking lot (mind you that there are campus emails that go out on a regular basis about someone getting robbed and students need to take precaution).  Luckily, Vanessa said she would not get off the phone with me in case I got robbed.

So when I finally get up to the law buiding, which is where my class is, all the lights are still off.  There are a few emergency lights on in the building and I weigh my options:

1) Stand outside the building in the cold
2) Go inside the creepily lit building and find other people in my class
3) Go home

Well, number 3 would be nice, however, with a homework assignment due and needing to meet with my group - I opted for a responsible adult, right?

We sat there in the semi-dark (me and like 5 other people) until a little after 7PM when our professor came in and said he doesn't know what the deal is, but we obviously cannot have class, so everyone can go home and turn our homework in after Thanksgiving. SWEET!  Class is canceled?  3 hours of my time freed up!!  I'm thinking - what will I do with all this FUN!?

My group decided we would part our separate ways and go work on our individual items as part of the project.  Then my sister in law Hillary calls on my way home and says that our husbands (Jimmy and Bobby) are going to the Blue Moose tonight and if I was going to go.  I explain to her how exciting it is that class was canceled - you know, like a college kid that gets a night class canceled ON A THURSDAY and immediately wants to run to Aggieville to meet their friends.  Who wouldn't?

Well - even with that temptation in place, I knew with how busy I was and the lack of time I have to work on the project anyway - I had to go home and work.  What a freaking bummer.  And I felt like a loser adult when I told Hillary I was going to be lame and sit at home and finish up my part of the project.  Well I guess it's a loser adult that is kind of responsible.  Still.  Not cool at all.  But that's life now, right?  AHHH!!!!

I'm wondering what happened to the fun Brittany 6 years ago that would have jumped at the chance when class was canceled to go grab drinks at Porter's Blue Moose.  Jeez.  We are getting old and I think I'm in denial about it.

However - I will continue to live those days through the Pat Green song, College, forever and always.  And I will always attempt to remember what it was like to make those fun decisions and make sure I actually act on them every once and a while, right?  So enjoy this and "George's Bar" or whatever your favorite place to meet friends was/is....

Oh college.....happy weekend to all!!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dating my boyfriend

Are you confused by this title?  Well, it's really dating my husband.  My husband Jimmy.  But here's a few things that I'm starting to realize as each day, week, month, year so quickly passes of being married.  Not so much "advice" just thing that we have found we have to make sure we do:

1. You have to date keep dating each other - just like you did when you were boyfriend and girlfriend.

September 2005 - Brooks and Dunn concert
Hanging out in Manhattan in September 2005
Valentine's Dinner (met in Topeka) 2007
When you first start to date someone it is SO fun.  Remember when you first meet someone or remember when you met your significant other (or spouse)?  Think about some of your first dates. I mean for most of us we are talking head over heels.  I remember Jimmy and I went to a movie called "Must love dogs" as our like second date.  Then we drove ALL around Kansas City until like 1AM talking about things.  Just because we liked each other so much we didn't want the night to end.  I wanted to know everything about him.  And he wanted to know everything about me.  Never a dull moment.  Smiling ALL the time.  And when we kissed goodbye, all I could think about when I was walking to the door was about the next time I was going to get to see him again.  It makes my stomach flutter and my heart happy just typing about it.  Those dates set the foundation for what is now our marriage 6 years later.  Those first dates for anyone - whether you married them or not - are just so dang exciting.  And what made them so exciting was the anticipation, the unknown and the desire to either continue to get to know that person or to run away from that person as fast as you can (trust me....I had a few of those in my dating days).  So guess what?  I truly believe you have to work to recreate those dates and moment even X number of years later.  And I mean dates.  Like you dress up, go out to dinner and talk to each other.  I try not to be cell phone couple (even though Jimmy will say that I'm addicted to facebook on my phone) when we are one dates because I try my best to revert back to that 19 or 20 year old girl when I first met Jimmy.  We stole the surprise date night idea from a friend I work with and really - it was one of the best things that happened to us.  Even though we have been majorly slacking in it lately (even this weekend I chose to go hang out with our nieces and nephews and forgo the surprise date night on Saturday...), I do think they are super fun and important.  Even trying to incorporate it into Jimmy's Christmas present this year....but you get the picture.  Go on dates.  Have fun.  Pretend you are not adults, you don't have the 17,000 responsibilities and worries and concerns that are going through your head each day.  It's worth the effort.  And the smiles.

2. You have to work hard at being married. And sometimes it's hard...
Yep, this face says it all.
This statement is so interesting to me.  When you get engaged - you hear this statement from the brutally honest people, but also the people that love you most.  They congratulate you and tell you how incredibly happy they are for you.  And then they take a look at their spouse across the room and give them a little eye roll (a fun eye roll, but yet still an eye roll.  Aren't sure what this looks like?  Just ask my husband or really probably lots of people's husbands) because they know.  They know it's different when you are married.  I'm not sure exactly what it is that is different (lots of things are different when after you say the I do's), but it's like you enter this "married club" and all of a sudden after a few years, months, weeks, or even hours (haha), you seem to get it.  You get it that sometimes you drive each other absolutely insane.  Sometimes you feel like that person is doing (or not doing) everything they can just to make you want to scream.  Sometimes you feel like you want to wring their neck because you are supposed to be living this life and maintaining your household together - but one too many times you feel like it's just you doing it or they feel like it's just them (yes, I admit that it does go both ways).  And all of a sudden you realize what everyone was talking about.  Like how about 3 weeks after we got married and Jimmy had finished moving in and we felt more settled, that was the moment that I got sad because I felt like I "saw" him less now even though we lived together.   I mean literally it was the weirdest thing ever.  What am I talking about that I see him less?  We just got married, we freaking live in the same house now...we are together ALL.THE.TIME.  But guess what?  What was missing was that QUALITY time.  That time that when you aren't together all the time you spend texting each other, talking on the phone about how each other's days were or going on dates and staring into each others eyes (you know you love that part).  So there, I admitted it.  Two weeks into marriage - we were already doing an abrupt change.  I wasn't about to let us get "comfortable"...let alone just come home EVERY night and retreat to separate rooms to watch separate TVs (now if you for one second think that doesn't happen at least once or twice a week in our house, you're wrong....because it does and it feels so darn good to sit...what I was trying to say that it's not allowed EVERY night.  Because I like to talk to my husband and watch TV or movies with him or spend time with him every now and then....). Long story short, it's important to recognize that it's not always easy and not beat yourself up for not being perfect.  Life is that cool that you can realize what is going on and redirect in a blink of an eye.

3.....and sometimes it's so darn wonderful that you can't stand it.

There are moments.  It's as if time stops and you never want that moment to end.  In the beginning of a relationship it can be that first time that your significant other picks hanging out with you over going out with his/her friends (which I thought was a huge deal because who wants to just stay in when you're in college?!?!).  Or when you get in a big fight and you are an hour apart and he drives that hour on a weeknight at 9PM even though you insist you won't see him because you have class at 8AM.  But he still comes even if he gets to see you for 10 minutes to talk in person - because he wants you to know that he cares.  And you still to this day swear that might have been the moment you looked back on and realized that he was "the one" because you were worth that 10 minutes to him then and you always will be.  The moments that he introduces you to his family for the first time (and how nervous you were) and the moments now when you are with that family and feel like life wouldn't be complete without his family (now yours too) in your life.  I could go on and on and on.  I really could.  

Here's a few "on and on": How nervous and handsome he looked when he asked me to spend the rest of my life with him.  When he tried to put my wedding ring on the wrong ring finger in our wedding ceremony and I couldn't stop laughing.  Knocking our first wall our in our house together - having no idea what we were getting ourselves into.  The date nights out.  The date nights in.  Hanging out with old friends, making new friends and laughing with all of them.  When things get hard and you start to cry and you know that you look ugly crying - but all he's thinking about is how upset he is that you are crying.  The look on his face when you say you love him more than anyone else ever.  The weird language you have created with each other that other people need a dictionary to interpret.  Watching him play with his nieces and nephews and imagining the day when he's a father to your children.  Talking about the fact that your future children could quite possibly have bright red, curly hair with glasses and braces - and smiling thinking about how your personalities will come out in them.  Going to church together and praying together.  And kissing goodnight.  Every night.  With each other. 

Yes, you have to keep dating all the time.  Married or not married, keep making sure that every once and a while you go back to the way you felt on your first couple of dates.  That feeling that you couldn't get enough of.  Remember why you fell in love.  No it's not going to be easy to be married.  But guess what?  In my's worth every up and down, smile and tear that come along with the ride.  So this month of thanksgiving and every month after - I am going to remember to be thankful for my husband that I really love - even the moments when I might not like him very much (dirty dishes and laundry will do that to anyone....) - and make sure to revert back to circa 2005 every once and a while.  But also remember that we can have that same spark in 2011, 2012 and ON and ON and ON...

Baseball game in Oklahoma (summer 2006)!
Christmas Dinner 2005 
Royal's game in 2006
Summer trip to OKC in 2006
Christmas dinner 2006
Jimmy's 22nd birthday (2006)
Senior year date party - 80s theme (2007) 
My 21st birthday - wow.
Date party 2006
Condo kisses 2008

P.S. Where did my desire to post this come from?  Check out this blog and read about her marriage story.  I stumbled upon this and found it to be an interesting story about marriage and how they continue to work through their issues to make their marriage whole again.  And reminded myself to be thankful for my husband and continue to work on our marriage each and everyday.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Carters head south - Ben and Julia's wedding!

A few weeks ago, specifically the last weekend in October - we headed to Austin, TX for a wedding!!  One of Jimmy's best friend's Ben was set to marry Julia and we couldn't have been more excited to go down there and help them celebrate their big day!!!

Ben and Jimmy have known each other for a long time, but what's really fun is that Brittany/Jimmy have known Ben/Julia for a long time too.  I remember meeting Julia for the first time during the summer of 2006 when Jimmy and I went to Tulsa to celebrate Julia's 21st birthday at her parents house!  It was a fun time 5 years ago....and we have had lots of good times in between...but this weekend and wedding, well it's going to go to the top of the list of fun times with them.  We had a blast in Austin celebrating with them and hanging out with all the other wonderful people that came down to celebrate also!!!

Unfortunately, this was one of the few pictures that I shot of the beautiful outdoor rehearsal dinner at a delicious Mexican restaurant just down the street from the hotel we were all staying at.  It was perfect weather outside and the food - oh yum.  Anything you feed me with guacamole you should know I will love, but the chicken and steak with chips, beans, rice, etc.  YUM.  Oh and the beer was good.  Very good.

Table at the rehearsal dinner.  I should have taken more pictures.....

They did speeches for anyone that wanted to come up and talk about them.  That was really fun because there were lot of people I didn't know from Julia's side, so it was so fun to get to hear from them about Julia's life pre-Ben!!  There were some super hilarious stories, including one that ended with a toast to "Julia and Matt" - who happens to be Ben (the groom)'s brother.  So that was hilarious and embarrassing all at the same time.

Jimmy & I at the rehearsal dinner.  Jimmy got his jacket for $27 at Macy's on sale and told everyone about him.  I love rubbing off on him :) 

When that was over - we wasted NO time and headed straight to 6th Street.  I was SOOO excited for Jimmy to get to go out on 6th Street.  I had been 2 times before - and just knew he would be in love.  Visiting this city was on my "travel bucket list" for Jimmy pre-babies.  Because it's just one of those cities that I feel like everyone should visit - it's SO pretty and so fun and just great.  So I was thrilled when Julia said they were getting married in Austin!!  One city off of Jimmy's list that he needs to see!! haha!
OK - and the sixth street pictures start.  wow.
We headed to apparently the "tourist" side of 6th Street - which was crazy and full of very interesting people.  However, we continued to jump from bar to bar.  One was called the library I think and then another one the Chuggin Monkey.

Me, Sara and Hillary!
And our husbands - Bobby, Jimmy and Jay
Jay & Sara - the newlyweds!  Here's their wedding post
I find this picture hilarious.  This was the last bar of the night.
HM  - pretty sure this was on the long walk home AFTER the gross Cuban food.  Dave & I

Ok - so the next morning was a little rough, but we had a good time until around 3:30.  I was up bright and early and off to meet Liz and Rachel for breakfast which was delicious and so fun to catch up with them.  I even got to meet Rachel's boyfriend and he was SO nice and sweet and cute.  Rachel - he's a keeper!!!

The boys had to put on their suits and bow ties around 11AM, so at 1PM we were all finishing up getting ready to getting ready to head to the church.   The church was gorgeous and once we got there, I got to practice some of my new photography skills that I learned in a free class I took at UMKC.  I am so happy that I somewhat knew what I was doing this time around because I could adjust the white balance and shutter speed to get the lights just right in the church.  See the difference??

Before settings 

After settings

All right  - onto the good stuff.  The bride and groom, the ring bearer, the wedding party.  Oh my goodness.  She was a stunning bride and he played the great part of a handsome groom!!!
Look at this sweet little boy!  He had matching orange converse to the bride! 
The beautiful bride and her dad!

Ben & Julia- I love this picture!!!!

Ok - I might like this one more.  Look behind them at her sister and his brother (matron of honor and best man).  Pretty much they look like each other and check out their faces.  So fun! 
Kiss!  You are married!!!!!!!!

Heble looks mortified and Kate looks stunning!

Darcy and Danny - he's confused
And Jimmy with his cheeser grin!
and Joe! 
On the trolley and ready to party!!
Guys on the trolley
The trolley shenanigans.... 
The beautiful bride and her orange shoes!!
And - they are next for this group of friends to tie the knot!!  June 30!  Can't wait!
We got off the trolley and walked through an old house/museum to see this set up.  It was so beautiful!!!  The reception site was the Neill-Cochran House Museum in the heart of Austin.  It was built in 1855 and has lots of history.  Not sure how Julia found it - but it was so gorgeous!!

Tables outside the front of the house. 
Check out the BEAUTIFUL and delicious cake set up on the front porch -loved the colors!
Underneath the tent and the dance area.
Kristen with the fried macaroni!!
I'm not kidding when I say that I am pretty sure we were stalking the waiters and waitresses walking around when we first got there.  The appetizers?  Were to die for.  Above is a picture of the fried macaroni balls and then they had little shot glasses of tomato soup with mini grilled cheese sandwiches in them and to top it off - wait for it - FRIED PICKLES with ranch drizzled on top.  Wow.  No wonder we were stalking.   Plus they had awesome koozies.  You know the wedding will be great when they have some of those, right?!?!?

Of course we snagged a table to put our stuff down and went right to the bar while stuffing our faces with enjoying the delicious appetizers as everyone else arrived.  And snapped some pictures.  This was the only picture of Jimmy and I that we got all night.  I liked it - so it will do!  Love that orange bow tie!

Jimmy and Brittany
Then I snapped a few pictures of these cuties. Mac said that she didn't have enough pictures of her and Dan that were good.  I got a few!!  So cute!

Danny and MacKenzie
 The night kicked off with the intro to the wedding party and the bride and groom and then it was time for dinner.   And if it wasn't an indicator from the appetizers that the food was going to be good - well it was delicious.  There were three stations (one of homemade chips and two kinds of sliders, one of shrimp and grits and another of fish tacos) that you got to choose from - they were all so good!  So as we enjoyed the food and wonderful company - they kicked off the speeches.  These were some GREAT speeches.  First up was the matron of honor, Julia's sister Allie and her brother Will.  He surprised her and came in from Germany unexpectedly where he is playing basketball!  It was such a great surprise and so glad that she got to have her brother a part of the special day. I liked this shot of Ben and Julia listening to the speech!

Then was the best man speech.  Ben's older brother, Matt did a phenomenal job.  It was hilarious and exactly how a Cindrich man would do it.  I kind of want to hear it again because it was that funny.  

And then some dancing.....

Julia and her dad
 And finally - the bride and groom kicked off the dance floor and thanked everyone for being there and have a GREAT time!!  They are so cute!!

So when they announced it was time to dance.  Jimmy wasn't shy at all and jumped right in.  He grabbed the bride's hand and started dancing - and then swung her around (he thinks he's a great dancer) and guessed it.  He knocked her over.  And there was a little nip slip (aka the brides boob kind of popped out).  Of course Jimmy was mortified.  The funny thing was that Julia completely laughed it off and when we talked about it over this recent weekend she said it didn't phase her - except that she just needed Jimmy's help to get up and he was just standing there in shock that he dropped her. Oh Jimmy.

So with some dancing, talking and lots of fun, we capped the night off with some pictures of the girls that were all there!

Hillary, me, MacKenzie, Sara, Nancy and Kristen
Me, Mac and Kristen

When it was over - we were sad but very tired!  It was the weekend and night of the Texas/KU football game so the reception was over around the same time as the game so the traffic was terrible and we couldn't get a ride back to the hotel.  So Jimmy did what he does best and improvised - and hailed us a Domino's pizza delivery guy.  Yep.  He apparently thought it was a cab because of the light on the top and the kid stopped.  Jimmy said sorry he thought he was a cab - and what did the kid say?  He immediately asked if we were cops and we said no and he said "jump in".  Um ok.  Unfortunately there was no pizza still in the car, but Bobby, Jimmy, Hillary and I rode home with the 18 year old pizza delivery guy that was very nice.  Apparently he does it often and makes some great extra cash.  Pretty sweet gig.

We got back to the hotel and went upstairs to change and then met the rest of the party down in the hotel bar to cap off the night.  There were TONS of people from Kansas City there, all Aquinas friends and parents, so we had plenty of great conversation.

The next morning, we all got up and went to this delicious burger place on sixth street and then walked around the campus because our flight wasn't until 3PM.  So when we arrived back in KC, I pretty much wanted to go straight to bed.  And I'm pretty sure I did.

Overall, what a fun weekend!!  So glad we were able to be a part of Ben and Julia's day and so happy for them.  Being at the wedding and seeing how in love and happy they were made me want to marry Jimmy again!  Ok - not all the work that went into it, but it's SO fun and your wedding day is so amazing.  Cheers!!