the game of love [august 2015]

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!