Here is a recap of our year that Ryan made and surprised me with on Christmas. We have really enjoyed our time together and in our home this year. Here's to posting more in 2017!
Here is a recap of our year that Ryan made and surprised me with on Christmas. We have really enjoyed our time together and in our home this year. Here's to posting more in 2017!
Well it seems we have fallen quite a bit behind here. We have had lots of exciting moments over the last few months, so I'll hit the highlights.
In February we went to our first Mavs game together and continued our "curse" of having our favorite teams lose when we go to a game together. The Mavs had the largest deficit in franchise history going into half-time, but we still had a lot of fun!
March - I'm sure something very important happened in March, but to be honest I don't remember anything. And if you're reading this and you did something special for us in March, or we celebrated something big, I apologize!
April - Our 1st Anniversary!! We loved being able to celebrate our first year of marriage. The 1st anniversary is the "paper" anniversary, so we decided to make some homemade paper. Ryan made a short instagram video that you can watch here. And then we spent the weekend in Hot Springs, Arkansas. We visited the national park, toured the historic bath houses, and then spent time at a fantastic lake house AirBnb in Hot Springs Village. They took us out on their boat and let us use their kayak. We had a really great time reminiscing on our first year of marriage and talking through some of our goals for year 2. We also got to see all of the beautiful tulips at Garvin Gardens!
May - In May we visited one of our favorite vacation spots, Pawley's Island, South Carolina. Ryan's uncle lives there and we had a great time relaxing on the beach and getting to visit with his family. We got to eat at our favorite restaurant, Franks., and found a new local favorite, BisQit! We finished up our Carolina trip by driving up North and celebrating Gary's graduation from UNC Chapel Hill. He has worked very hard the past 8 years to earn his PhD and it was a nice time celebrating with family.
June - Brit got a job! She has been working hard on finding a teaching job and it was a huge blessing to get a job at a great elementary school so early in the summer! She will be teaching 1-6 grade art starting next fall. We also spent the month of June going to several weddings and celebrating Ryan's cousin Wesley earning his Eagle Scout. Ryan did the videography for one of the weddings and Brit made bow ties for another one.
July - Finally all caught up! We had such a great time on the kayak in Arkansas, that we decided to buy one ourselves! It was something we had been wanting to get for a long time and was a "reward" for us achieving some of the personal goals we had set. We had fun celebrating July 4th with Ryan's family and then going out on the lake! We also had Ryan's family reunion this month. It was fun spending time with family, and... a baby kangaroo! Another fun thing we decided to do this mont was take a pottery class! It was a first for both of us to use a potters wheel and we made 2 pots each in our class. Then we came back a few weeks later and glazed them. It was so fun to learn a new skill and we will definitely be back for more lessons! You can see some videos that Ryan made of the process here and here.
2016! It's hard to believe how fast 2015 went by but we are looking forward to lots of things this year, including being married for 1 year!
5 Things we liked this month
1. The Goldbergs - this show has been on for a while, but we had never seen it. However, they recently put all of the episodes on Hulu, so we started watching and we are hooked! The show creator made lots of home movies in the 80's and each episode is based off of a funny family story of his. They even show a little home movie clip at the end and we love seeing the real characters. You can watch it on Hulu Plus here.
2. Psych - this a fun new game we recently learned about! It's an app on your phone so you can play with friends even when they aren't with you. The game gives everyone a fill in the blank question from different categories. Everyone submits what they think the answer is. It then compiles everyone's answer plus the real answer into an anonymous list and everyone tries to guess what the the real answer is. So the goal is to "psych" everyone and try to get them to guess your answer instead of the real one! It's really funny to see what everyone comes up with!
3. Being Creative - we have both been trying to not only be more creative, but also document it by taking one photo a week of something we are working on. Ryan has been making some wonderful left press prints while Brit has been using up her fabric stash and making quilts! Here are each of our photos from this month:
4. Surprisingly Awesome - this is a (newer) podcast we have been listening to. They take a simple, "boring" topic like cement or broccoli and explain all kinds of interesting, "surprisingly, awesome" information about it! You can listen to their podcasts here.
5. Financial Peace University - We've been going through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace course at church and it has been a great! We recommend it to anybody and everybody! The class is great, but there are also plenty of articles and videos online to check out as well.
Better late than never! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We have officially completed our first set of married holidays. We had a wonderful (and busy) time celebrating with both of our families this year. This month marked 8 months of marriage for us, and one year since our engagement. It's hard to believe a year has already flown by!
We mainly spent this month close to home, but did manage to escape for a weekend to Salado for a marriage retreat! It was lots of fun, helpful, and relaxing!
Ryan spent lots of time practicing letterpress and Brit spent many evenings hard at work at "Santa's Workshop" (a.k.a. our apartment) making homemade gifts for our family and friends. She sewed an awesome quilt & several clutch bags and also painted ornaments, jewelry boxes, and wooden stumps for gifts. Thanks to our friends that also bought something! It's not too early to place an order for next Christmas! Here is a video of some of the things Brit made:
5 Things We Liked This Month:
1) Gilmore Guys: LIVE - If you remember from a few months ago, we've really enjoyed listening to podcasts! One of Brit's favorite podcasts is Gilmore Guys - which in a nutshell is two guys who talk about one of Brit's favorite shows, Gilmore Girls. They were excellent entertainers, even for someone who has never seen an episode of Gilmore Girls (not to name any names...) - and Brit really enjoyed watching something that she has spent so much time listening to! We even got to meet the guys:
2) Gift Exchanges - Both sides of our extended families did gift exchanges this year to make gift giving easy! Each exchange has a price limit and some sort of theme. Brit's side did unique kitchen items and Ryan's mom's side did "Things that start with the letter B" while his dad's side did "Things that start with the letter M". We gave a scone pan and owl kitchen timer, jumbo Bananagrams, a Bath set with fun soaps and a Bath pillow, a Makeup bag and brushes, and a funny Muffin baking kit that you can see below. It's always fun to see the creative gifts and this year's funniest gift was in the B exchange to which our cousin-in-law brought a Bidet!!
3) Games - one of the gifts we received in the B gift exchange was a Board game called Smart A$$. It's a fun trivia game that isn't inappropriate except for the title! We also got a few games as gifts from Brit's cousin - Set and Man Bites Dog. We have been playing all three of those games quite a bit. So far Brit has won at Set more times, but we've got all of 2016 for Ryan to catch up and dominate.
4) The Gospel According to Mac - This is one of ESPN's newest 30 for 30s. We watched it on Christmas eve after getting home from the Christmas Eve service at our church. It was a great portrayal of how both God and sports have affected Bill McCartney, the former head coach at the University of Colorado, and the ups and downs that have come along in his life.
5) COOKIES GALORE! - Our friend, Natalie, has a family tradition of baking cookies - but that description doesn't quite do it justice. For the past 41 years, they have been adding a new recipe each year, mastering the previous years' creations, and then sharing them with family and friends. This year, we were given a "sample" plate - which consisted of probably 30-or-so of the 41 types of cookies. It was delicious. Who else wants to adopt this family tradition?
The Guad Squad
We hope everybody had an awesome Thanksgiving! We really enjoyed spending time with family, eating great food, and relaxing a little bit!
This month has been a great one. We spent a lot of time at our apartment (more on that later) and making some "big-time" decisions - some fun and some... not. One of our cars broke down beyond repair (thankfully everyone was OK), so there has been a lot of carpooling & chauffeuring around town. Brit started working on her alternative teaching certificate and is hoping to be an art teacher for the next school year! Mrs. G.! We shut down our house hunting and have committed to staying where we're at for the foreseeable future. We are excited (and a little nervous) to see how God uses us, our finances, and our time over the next few months!
Five things we liked this month:
1) Extreme Makeover: Tiny Apartment Edition - This month, we continued to transition Ryan's bachelor apartment into OUR apartment. We got a new couch/love seat/ottoman set from Nebraska Furniture Mart (which is AWESOME) and scored a sweet deal on a new bed at an estate sale. Needless to say, the apartment has become way more comfortable than it was. If you need proof that marriage has been good for the 600 square foot space we call home, take a look at this photo! Old apartment living room on top, same room with new furniture on the bottom.
2) Artifact Uprising - this company has some awesome ways to share photos that we've grown to love! We printed several books from our trips and wedding and have absolutely loved having them to show people and to look at ourselves! They have an iPhone app for uploading and make it really easy to see what you're going to get. If you join their e-mail list, they have promotions around almost every holiday! Recently they had a deal for 25 free square prints, so we cashed in. Pretty neat!
3) National Parks Pass! - this all didn't happen this month, but our National Parks pass finally expired. We got the year-long pass last year and it gave us some of the best memories we have! Together we went to big bend, haleakala, carlsbad caverns, guadalupe mountain, and great smoky mountain national park. Along the way, we collected patches, photos, and memories that we put together to remember a great year! A new pass is definitely going on the Christmas list this year!
4) Letterpress - Ryan's family recently got two types of letterpress equipment! We have had an absolute blast learning and printing on machines that are way older than us. We are still learning & experimenting, but we've been pleased with how some of our beginning work has turned out. Stay tuned for more :)
5) this video!!
happy november everybody!
It is pretty wild how fast this year has gone. On 10/4 we celebrated six months of marriage! We went back to Weston Gardens (where we got married) to "celebrate" and remember the day - it looked so different with the leaves starting to fall and change color, and there were pumpkins everywhere from a wedding somebody had the night before!
We also took an AMAZING trip to North Carolina to celebrate Ryan's brother's wedding! Gary and Catherine (new sister-in-law!) tied the knot on the 17th and it was such a beautiful wedding and a very fun reception. We had a blast with our family that was there as well as getting to know some of Catherine's family and friends better. Here is a picture that Ryan took of the "send-off" before they headed to the D.R. for their honeymoon! Congrats Catherine & Gary!
We flew out to NC the week before the wedding for a little vacation & birthday celebration. We got to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway, visit Great Smoky Mountain National Park (our fifth national park together), and explore Asheville and the surrounding areas. We think we were there at the PERFECT time, because the leaves were reaching their peak fall colors and everywhere we looked was a breathtaking view! Our favorite parts were Graveyard Fields & Falls (where we saw the most color), Lake Janaluska (which was most relaxing), and our awesome AirBnB (where we got to sleep!!). Here are some photos of our trip. You can view a few more here.
As you can see, it was absolutely beautiful!
5 Things We Liked This Month (besides going on vacation...) :
1) Goals List - We both struggle with saying/thinking we should do something and then we run out of time, forget, or just don't have the discipline to actually do them. I'm sure we are the only ones who deal with that... But this month, we decided we were actually going to do what we said! So we went back to what worked as kids and made a goals list. Each of us thought of 5 things that we wanted/needed to do during each week (like exercise, stick to a meal plan, write thank you notes, etc.) and we wrote them down, along with a "challenge" that we got to think of for each other to do. And yes, after you do them you get to put a sticker next to the goal. If you get all of your goals for the week, you get a "reward" and if you get all of your weekly rewards, you get something awesome at the end of the month. We haven't made it a whole month yet, but Brit is currently enjoying a DOUBLE SCOOP of ice cream for her weekly reward! Cheesy? Yes. But effective? So far!
2) Documentaries - We've watched (and recommended) lots of things on TV/Netflix/Hulu. But these were amazing! "Honor Flight" - a truly heartwarming (and tearjerking) story about WWII veterans who are given the opportunity to travel to D.C. to visit the WWII memorial for free, and the impact that has on their lives; "The Imposter" - an absolutely bizarre story about an... imposter that we couldn't believe was actually true; "SOMM" - a documentary following several guys who are preparing to take the master sommelier exam, which we knew absolutely nothing about. They are all on Netflix!
3) Biscuit Head - We tried lots of new restaurants on vacation, but probably the most memorable was Biscuit Head. The name really says it all - biscuits the size of your head. A nap is mandatory.
4) 7-min Workout - After eating at a place called Biscuit Head (and just in general), we've been trying to find more ways to be active and healthier. One resource that we've been using is 7-min.com. It is a really good (and quick) workout that exercises your arms, chest, and legs and mixes in some cardio as well. While we try to do more than just that, it is an easy way to get a quick workout in if you have a busy day or the weather is bad. Seven minutes may not be that long, but it is more than zero minutes!
5) Carpoolin' - Due to a flat tire/car trouble, we were down to one car for a week. It really wasn't a huge deal and we actually enjoyed it while it lasted. Lots of laughs, hitting Adele high notes, and sports talk radio :) The verdict is we think we COULD go down to one car... but we aren't.
Thinking back through this month, it may not have been one of our most exciting months, but we did have a few highlights!
We celebrated Ryan's birthday this month. We went out to eat and opened a few presents together on his actual birthday and then celebrated the following weekend with his parents. We went to the Bishop Arts District and had a great time eating and walking through the shops. While we were there, we took a photo in the same spot we had taken a photo two years ago. The top is 2 months into dating and the bottom is nearly 6 months into marriage (next month)!
The birthday celebration continued as we drove down to Waco to watch the Bears beat Rice 70-17. It was Brit's first time to go to a Baylor game and we had a great time walking around campus and enjoying some of our favorite Waco spots. Thanks of our friends Sean and Julia for the tickets!
We are looking forward to October as it will be filled with Brit's (and other family member's) birthdays, VACATION, Ryan's brother's wedding, and (hopefully) some cooler weather!
5 Things We Liked This Month:
1) Lake Nights - The weather (while a little hot) has been very nice this month and we've enjoyed being able to spend some time at the lake after work.
2) 30 for 30 Shorts - One of our favorite activities is to watch ESPN's 30 for 30 documentaries. Most of them are on Netflix and we also have the DVDs. However, there are also lots of 30 for 30 Shorts online that are usually about 10-20 minutes. Neither of us had seen many of the shorts and we have enjoyed catching up on them this month. Some of our favorites include: First Pitch, Brave In The Attempt, and The Great Imposter.
3) Hey Donna - We have watched this youtube video quite a bit and Ryan has taken it upon himself to come up with similar puns whenever the opportunity arises!
4) Super Blood Moon Eclipse - Sunday night ended up being a great night to watch the eclipse. We attempted to take some photos and time-lapses but none of them turned out quite as well as it looked in person.
5) Watching The 'Gers - The 'gers, or The Texas Rangers, have had quite an unbelievable month. We (mostly Ryan) have been watching with both excitement and nervousness as they near the end of the season and hope for a playoff spot!
August was a fun month filled with two things: game nights and weddings!
We kicked off the month with the wedding of our friends Josh and Beth. Brit has been friends with Josh and Beth since college and now we all go to church together. We started dating around the same time, got engaged around the same time and now we are able to enjoy newlywed life together. Their wedding was very beautiful and we had a lot of fun on the dance floor - a highlight being Beth's grandpa, who knew all the moves and was able to do "the twist" way better than any of us! Their wedding was on August 1st which happened to be the 2-year anniversary of our first "non-date". Basically, Ryan had texted Brit to go to Braum's with him because he wanted to ask Brit on a date in person — but he got too nervous and ended up waiting 2 more days! We celebrated that moment at the same Braum's on our way home from the wedding.
The next weekend we headed down to San Antonio to celebrate the wedding of Sean and Julia. Sean and Ryan became good friends at Baylor and Sean even officiated our wedding. It was a bittersweet weekend as we were able to spend some quality time with lots of friends, but sad to see it end because that meant Sean and Julia would be moving to Chicago! We stayed at an airbnb close to the art museum where they were getting married and we could not have been more happy with it.
The wedding was a blast and on the way home we HAD to stop in New Braunfels. There are two things in New Braunfels that we love: our friend Kimo and breakfast tacos. So, we ate breakfast tacos with Kimo. Ryan and Kimo worked at camp together and he has been a big supporter of the GuadSquad. We love catching up with him and this particular time he had some very exciting news: he was going to be on a game show! If you know Kimo, you know he has been trying to get on the show Survivor for many, many years. He said it wouldn't be Survivor this time around, but he was going to be on a show called Hollywood Game Night. The premise of the show is that there are 2 teams made up of 4 people (3 celebrities and 1 "civilian") and they compete by playing different types of party games and the winner goes to the bonus round to get a chance at winning $25,000 for themselves and for the celebrities' charity of choice. Kimo told us about the whole experience and when it was going to be on. So we called up some mutual friends, Jennifer and Jerimiah, and settled in that next Tuesday to watch Kimo on TV. It was so fun to play along with the games and cheer Kimo on. His team didn't end up making it to the bonus round (although Kimo was definitely the MVP), but it was still so fun to watch. You can watch his episode on hulu.
One of our goals we made for our marriage while on our honeymoon was to have a dinner group to meet with regularly. We have several friends (if you couldn't tell by this post) who have gotten married this summer, so we all gathered together this month for a game night of our own. It was nice to get together with other couples in our same stage of life to all assure ourselves that we weren't the only couple getting used to sharing a bed or finding ways to stretch our grocery store budget.
The next weekend Ryan's brother Gary and his fiancee' Catherine came in town for a wedding shower. It was nice to get to spend some time together and celebrate their upcoming marriage. That Saturday we spent the day doing some new activities. The guys went to a wood-working class while the ladies went to a cooking class. We both had fun learning some new techniques. Ryan made a cutting board and Brit made margherita pizza - including the mozzarella!
The class taught us to make 2 pizzas each so the four of us left with 8 pizzas! Needless to say, we ate a lot of pizza this month.
The last highlight of the month was celebrating the engagement of Rachel and Eric. Rachel is Brit's best friend from college and was a bridesmaid at our wedding. We were glad we got to be there to celebrate as they got engaged.
5 Things We Liked This Month:
1) Rest - As you can tell, we had a fairly packed month of celebrating. We are so glad we have so many blessing to celebrate in our life, but it was also nice to have a weekend to rest. We are both trying to make rest more of a regular thing in our lives as we continue to adjust to living together and combining schedules.
2) Fresh Off The Boat - While looking for a new TV show, we decided to give Fresh Off The Boat a try. We had heard hints of it being funny but had never given it a shot and WOW. It is so funny. It's a 30 min sitcom that debuted this past year about a Chinese family set in the 90s told from the perspective of the oldest son. It's based on a book by the same title. Our favorite characters are the little brothers - we have been quoting them non-stop after flying through the first season on hulu.
3) Reading - Brit picked up a book she had bought awhile back but never started called The Object of Beauty by Steve Martin and that has inspired her to start reading more... and with the start of football season approaching, Ryan is "considering" reading his Art Briles books as well.
4) Cooking at Home - We have been trying to cut back on eating out a restaurants as much as we did the first few months of marriage and that has meant more home cooking. Some of our favorites include One Pan Cilantro-Lime Chicken, what we call Crispy Chicken (it's good with tomato sauce too), Mongolian Beef and Broccoli, and then a few recipes I got from family friends at my wedding shower like Pepperoncini Beef and Bacon Wrapped Sausages, as well as a few classics like Spaghetti, Chicken Caesar Salad, and Tacos.
5) Bar Keeper's Friend - If I (Brit) was ever asked to make an infomercial for a product, I would probably choose to be a spokesperson for Bar Keeper's Friend. It is a new (to me) cleaning product that I heard about a few months back. We have stainless steel pots and pans and sometimes they can be really hard to scrub. Bar Keeper's Friend comes in a powder or a gel and you let it soak on your stainless steel pots, sinks, counters - whatever you have - and it works wonders! I will say, it is by no means "all-natural" or anything close to that if that's your thing. Considering what it does to the pans it's probably the complete opposite of environmentally friendly, but as a once-in-a-while item, I'd say it is worth a buy if you have stainless steel pans. It has made newly married kitchen life much easier!
We started off July with quite a bit of traveling. Unfortunately, we didn't find much time to blog, so here is a quick recap!
We used our long 4th of July weekend to check out two of the "closest" national parks to us - Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico and Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas. The two parks are actually only about a 30-minute drive from each other, so it was a good idea to pair them together. Unfortunately, that 30-minute drive was about a 400-minute drive from where we live. So we started early and made it to Carlsbad Caverns a little after lunch. It is (spoiler alert) really dark in the cavern, so it made taking pictures a little bit more challenging. However, it was still very neat to walk through. We were both surprised how BIG the "rooms" were and had fun imagining what it must've been like for the people that discovered it. It was the most "touristy" national park that we've been to, so that experience was a little different, but nonetheless a fun stop. Here are a few of the pictures that we did manage to get, thanks to some of the lights they have in the cavern!
After CCNP, we made our way to set up camp at Guadalupe Mountains National Park. We were extremely lucky to snag the last remaining campsite (there were only 15 or so). The park is almost exclusively for hiking - there isn't really a large valley or lake area like most other parks - which was great, because we came to hike! After making our dinner and setting up camp, we were treated to an amazing display of stars and moonlight. The next morning, we started our hike up Guadalupe Peak - the highest peak in the state! We hit the trail early - before the sun came up - to get as much of the sun-exposed section of the hike out of the way before it got too hot. It didn't really matter though! I think we under-estimated how hot, windy, and tiring the hike would be.. but we persevered and had some amazing views along the way! 8.5-hours later though, we were happy to see flat ground and were on a mission to move our bodies as little as possible for the rest of the weekend. Here are a few shots of the night sky and our hike up Guadalupe Peak:
5 Things We Liked This Month:
1) Hearing "No" - Before we explain this one, we need to admit that this would probably also lead the list of "5 Things We Didn't Like This Month." We both have had a few things recently that we really wanted or felt like we deserved, that didn't go our way. We won't pretend like it wasn't a bummer or that it still doesn't sting a little bit. But over the past few weeks, we have been working on having a better perspective. We have both had more than our fair share of things go away and have had tons of support in our lives. Hearing "NO" has been good for us as we've gotten reminders in the lessons of patience, humility, and most importantly - letting God plan our lives, not us. He has that one under control.
2) Family Time - The second weekend of July, we took a trip to Guthrie, Oklahoma for Ryan's side's family reunion. We had such a nice time seeing (and meeting) everyone, shooting fireworks, playing games, and sharing stories from our wedding & honeymoon. On Brit's side, we had another wedding in the family and an always tasty BBQ lunch. It is truly special to have family that makes time for one another, even if it is just once a year for some people. We look forward to many more family gatherings.
3) MasterChef - BG is a long-time viewer, but RG is a recent convert to the show MasterChef on Fox. Its entertaining, its ridiculous, it will make you hungry, and you should watch it so we have somebody to talk about it with! #TeamDerrick
4) TEAM USA! - We had an absolute blast watching every single USA Women's World Cup game. This team was amazing and it was so fun to see it all come together in the final. We were just bummed that it didn't last longer!
5) Cow Appreciation Day - In exchange for free meals, we dressed up like cows and went to Chick-fil-A to celebrate Cow Appreciation Day. It seemed like a pretty good deal to us! We saw a couple of friends there who were also dressed up and enjoyed seeing other people's last-minute attempts to look like a cow for free food!
This marriage thing is fun! We've been taking full advantage of the long summer days to enjoy the outdoors, spend time with friends, and eat some tasty food.
One of the highlights of this month was going to Dirk Nowitzki's Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game. We saw Dez Bryant do a standing backflip after catching a fly ball, Tyron Smith (315 lbs) hit a triple, Steve Nash play second base like an All-Star, and found out that Ryan Cabrera doesn't have as spiky of hair as we once remembered. It was pretty neat to see all of the celebrities on one field play a game that very few were any good at. To top it all off, we got Dirk and Tyson Chandler's autograph on our 2011 Championship hat. *Dez photo below courtesy of DMN :)*
5 Things We Liked This Month:
1) Homemade Pizza Night - For a summer treat, we made homemade pizza on the grill using this Pinterest recipe. It was really fun and the pizza turned out great! Ryan loaded his with pepperoni and Brit chose a... healthier option.
2) "Don't Put Anything In The Sink Month" - Oh yeah. This is exactly what it sounds like. For the entire month of June, nothing was allowed to be put in the kitchen sink. Neither one of us are super messy people, but in a small apartment, even a few things in the sink make the entire place seem dirty. So aside from a few "strikes" (but who is counting) and one mystery cup, we kept the kitchen sink and dishes super clean and tidy! It worked so well, we might be extending the holiday into July.
3) Date Night at the Batting Cages - After being motivated by Dirk's baseball game, we took our Tuesday date night to the cages for a little batting practice. With expectations set very low, we were able to shake off the rust and connect on a few. It was super fun to do something we probably wouldn't do on our own (especially BG) and get out of our comfort zone a little bit. We are planning a trip to the driving range soon!
4) Two Documentaries on Netflix - BlackFish and Jim Gaffigan's Mr. Universe. Two VERY different documentaries. Both entertaining and worth a watch if you have a spare hour or so. We had both heard of Blackfish for a while, we just never got around to watching it. We won't spoil it, but let's just say you'll hate SeaWorld after watching it. Mr. Universe on the other hand is full of laughs. We both love comedians, but just wish they were a little less vulgar. This one is relatively clean and very, very funny. He has a Subway rant that had us rolling.
5) Watching our wedding video over and over - If you didn't get a chance to watch it, you can do so here! We'd like to thank Nate Kantor (and his new bride Megan) for all the work on it.
As everybody probably knows, it has been raining pretty much every day this month. Although I think we'd probably both choose to be outside more if we could, it has been nice to spend a little bit more time than usual inside relaxing and letting our bodies catch back up from a busy few months.
So even though we'd like to share a list of all of the outdoor adventures and weekend excursions that we went on in our first full month of marriage, the truth is there are none to talk about. Instead, we completed four different puzzles this month - we dominate the 750 piece ones. We are re-watching "The Office" and are embarrassingly close to finishing the entire series. Most of our date nights were spent inside cooking and duck-and-covering while tornado sirens were going off, although we did go out to eat a few times and were interviewed by our favorite radio show!
5 Things We Liked This Month:
1) PODCASTS! Most of the time while we are driving, cooking, working out, sitting on our balcony, (and sometimes even when we are working), we are listening to podcasts. We have absolutely loved hearing new stories, learning new facts, and talking about them with each other. We don't have tv/cable (read: we're cheap), so podcasts have taken its place. And they are free! You should check some of our favorites out. RG's favorites: Radio Lab, Ask Me Another, & How To Do Everything. BG's favorites: Planet Money, Pop Culture Happy Hour, Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, and guilty pleasure... Gilmore Guys (don't judge). If you are looking for something fun to do, we think How To Do Everything, Planet Money, and Ask Me Another are the best ones to start with.
2) Coupons and Free Food. This one is obvious. But Ryan scored some buy-one/get-one Schlotzsky's coupons from work and we have taken full advantage of them. Mix those in with a free family lunch on Memorial Day that came with take-home burgers and we probably saved close to $50 this month on some TASTY food.
3) Our church (Connect Church in Arlington) has been doing a series called "Fixer Upper", named after the TV show. Sometimes churches try a little too hard to make sermon names culturally relevant, we know... But this has been awesome. A few months ago, our pastor invited our church to email him the stories of certain events in our lives that have been sinful, sad, unfair, or broken and tell how through God's grace, he has restored us. Our pastor chose a few stories to highlight and some EXTREMELY courageous men and women have gotten up and shared their stories each week. We have been blown away by some of the heartbreaking things that have gone on in our church body without us knowing about it. But it has been so overwhelmingly encouraging to us to know that our pastor and our church body is one that embraces those difficult times, is honest about them, and works alongside one another as we pursue Jesus. The stories of addiction, abuse, doubt, anger, and stubbornness are no different than our own personal stories. We are proud to be going to a church that doesn't condone the sin, but encourages people to bring those struggles out of the darkness, learn from one another, and pursue the Lord as the body of Christ.
4) Playing with Play-Doh again. If you haven't seen the new video, click here.
5) Planning a vacation! We are going to be going to North Carolina for Ryan's brother's wedding in October, but we've decided to go out there a week early. We are for sure going to be spending some time at Great Smoky Mountain National Park, but are open to other ideas as well. If you've done anything super fun in North Carolina, Tennessee, or maybe even South Carolina, let us know!
Thanks for reading!
The Guad Squad
Since all of the rain prevented us from being outside this weekend, I made a claymation stop motion. Hope everyone likes it!
Hey there! We just got the pictures from our wedding back and want to share them with you! Thanks to Jennifer Smith for taking them for us!
If you're reading this, you are probably in one of two camps: the "I want to see them ALL" camp or the "just give me the highlights" camp.
If you are interested in looking at hundreds (seriously!) of beautiful photos from our wedding, click here for the link. The password is "April 2015". Make sure you capitalize the A and use a space!
For those of you interested in the highlights only, here you go!
We got married on the morning of April 4th at Weston Gardens in Fort Worth. Brit designed the invitations using photographs Ryan took at Weston Gardens. Brit made her own dress, which had always been something she wanted to do. All of our flowers (mostly succulents and baby's breath) were purchased at Sam's and arranged by Brit. The wood centerpieces were cut from trees at Brit's parents' ranch - where we had our first kiss, and got engaged! The venue was beautiful and even included an awesome stone ship where the guys got ready. Ryan and his crew crossed a wobbly bridge to get there!
The wedding started at 9:30a with a breakfast buffet! Some crowd favorites were the biscuits and jam, Reese's Puffs, granola, and of course... the Chick-n-Minis! We loved spending this time greeting our guests as they ate, played games, and read that day's edition of the Guad Gazette (our wedding program, designed by none other than... Ryan and Brit).
After breakfast, we began our ceremony. Our procession began with the parents of the bride and groom and even featured FLOWER GRANDMAS!! We found some pretty cool antique doors that were the perfect backdrop to our altar (decked out in succulents, lavender, and rosemary of course). Our ceremony was officiated by our friend Sean who did a great job. We said our vows and sealed the deal with a kiss.
After the ceremony, we "cut the cake" - which happened to be donuts! There were donut holes for all of the guests to enjoy and a little bit of dancing to follow. It was an amazing morning and it ended too soon! Before we knew it, we were making our exit through the bubbles and were off to Hawaii.
Thanks again to everybody who helped make the day possible and who helped us celebrate, either in person or from a distance. We will always cherish this special day!
- Guad Squad
April 2015 was the biggest month of our lives. We planned a rehearsal dinner and a wedding, had a rehearsal dinner and a wedding, went on a honeymoon, moved into an apartment, got sick, started house hunting, reconnected with old friends, celebrated Ryan's brother getting engaged, and wrote LOTS of thank you notes.
So how do we tell you all about it? Easy. Here is April 2015 according to each of us, in 200-ish words a piece:
April 2015 according to BG -
April has always been one of my favorite months – the weather, the flowers, the “it’s almost summer” feeling in the air – it’s a great month! It started off with a beautiful rehearsal dinner under the stars, playing darts and a giant version of bananagrams with our closest friends and family. We were blessed with the most beautiful day all year to be our wedding day — complete with a lunar eclipse! We had so much fun at our wedding and it couldn’t have been more perfect. We got to spend an entire week in Maui, and had a great time relaxing, exploring, and playing in waterfalls together. Upon coming home, we were so thrilled to have NOTHING planned! What a nice treat after three months of wedding planning. We were able to settle in to our apartment and spend time enjoying our new home together. I have loved getting to know and love Ryan even more and I could not be more happy with or sure of our decision to get married. We have enjoyed weekly date nights and not having to say goodbye. April has been so wonderful, but I have a feeling May might be even better!
April 2015 according to RG -
I'm glad we have pictures because I still can't believe it all happened! Seeing my bride for the first time on our wedding day goes down as the all-time greatest feeling. Indescribable. Our wedding was a giant celebration of love, friendship and community. We were blessed with an amazing day - to us, it was perfect.
Hawaii was crazy. No doubt, one of the most beautiful places on earth. So much exploring, eating, and relaxing packed into one week. My favorite memories are watching the surfers and talking about family goals while watching the sun go down with Brit - as well as getting to swim with sea turtles. And we got to check another national park off our list!
My apartment shrunk in half!!! Brit moving in has been great though. Although my apartment is a temporary living situation for us, it has been fun to get all of our stuff in one place and challenge ourselves to get rid of the "junk" that just takes up space. She is the best looking and best smelling roommate I've had (no offense to previous roommates).
The wedding and honeymoon were absolutely incredible, but the few weeks we've had back to "normal" have been great too. Praying with each other each morning and night has been one of the most rewarding things!
In summary, April 2015 rocked our worlds. There may be another post at some point with more details about our engagement, wedding, or honeymoon - who knows!
We are so thankful for our family and friends that experienced with us and to the many more that weren't able to. Being the Guad Squad has been a blast so far, but the adventure is just beginning.