Wednesday, July 23, 2014

got lost in 18th century scotland again, oooops!

so so so, hi, and welcome to my favorite topic!

want to know kiiinda where i've been spending my free time lately? no? well i'm still going to tell you! i have been totally lost in rereading my very. favorite. book series. of all time. and boy, does it feel good good good. i actually didn't read a single thing aside from pregnancy books the entire time i was pregnant with maddalena [too distracted!], and then still didn't read a single book for the longest time after she was born [really too distracted!]. so finally! here i am!! reading books i've already read. now, if that's not true brittany fashion, i don't know what is. ;) but! i have good reason! reason being... they're amazing.

"that one! but you've read it twice!" 
"well, it's my favorite! far off places, daring sword fights, magic spells, a prince in disguise!" 
[a little beauty & the beast interlude there because, you know, belle is my spirit princess!]

i've mentioned it a few times before, but the outlander series, by diana gabaldon, is my very, very favorite book series. [and ps. i love that every time i mention this tidbit, a few outlander co-obsessors surface, officially finding an extra special place in my heart!!!] but, i mean, let's be honest here, okay... when you spend six years reading seven ginormous books about a love that transcends time. and. SPACE! well, it's more like a relationship, right? a beautiful, blossoming and totally normal relationship, where one might go around casually referencing jamie and claire in every day conversation with people who are pretending that one doesn't sound com-pa-letely ridiculous referring to [who they think are] fictional characters all the time. but that's the thing with books! when you're in them, you're IN them, you know?

anyway. yes! six years ago i started reading outlander while a tiny, black, fluffy bearcub of a baby minnie gnawed on my pink purse handles in my in my college apartment bedroom. i'd never heard of the books before, so i kept my expectations on the low end, but my aunt had sworn they were good... and so! i started reading... and once i made it through the first little bit, i just could not stop. i got to the end of it and dove right into the second book, dragonfly in amber [my aunt had mailed me the first two in the series]. i finished that book and drove straight to the bookstore with fresh and gloooriously dramatic tears still in my eyes to get the third book, and so on and so forth. my roommates thought i was crazy, i'm pretty sure, because i was one thousand percent obsessed. [and okay, right now i can totally picture them going, "brittany, we already thought you were crazy, el-oh-el!" i know, guys, i know! thanks for loving me anyway!], but i really enjoy just being totally all in something, and i was. i was all in. so... over the next couple of years i read all seven of the books. seven. huge. books. of love and war and history and yummy, powerful, bold deliciousness.

so, okay... a brief synopsis! outlander starts like this: war in the 1940s has kept english nurse, claire, separated from her historian husband, frank, for six years of their early marriage. when the two finally reunite, they take a second honeymoon to scotland to, you know, reconnect. it's there, however, that claire stumbles upon some mysterious standing stones and accidentally falls 200 years back through time to the year 1743. woops! initially, claire falls into the less-than-ideal hands of an english soldier who looks confusingly like frank... that is, until a bunch of kilted scotsmen come along, including one smokin' hot highlander named jamie. they take claire with them, as she's obviously extremely lost and vulnerable... and aaah, i'm already getting all tingly! inevitably, she finds herself a bit torn between the time she came from and the husband she had just reunited with, now far, far, far away... and the undeniably passionate chemistry that's unfolding with one tall drink of scottish water named jamie. did i mention he's good with horses? he is. he's good with horses. oh and he's wounded. oh! and she's a nurse. oh! and he's all scottish and "i'll protect you" and stuff. okay. perf.

and oh, hey, here's another summary i've come across, as outlander was recently referenced on the show orange is the new black. i've not seen the show, but apparently the character "'taystee," spots the book and says something like, "outlander!" you ever read this? lady travels back in time to scotland... hooks up with this big sexy outlaw type, and they be getting’ it day in and day out. yo, it’s hot!" i find that to be pretty accurate, as well.

these books are super long, too, filled with details and love and stories and language and history. [the author has a couple of PhDs and a ginormous brain, i can only assume, because how! how does she write so much and so beautifully and so historically accurately and for so many years?!] so, you definitely have to be ready for a committed book relationship. and naturally, as our friend 'taystee has already mentioned [that name is killing me, by the way, what is that name??], and like any good 18th century scottish highland sexy scenario would have it, i'm sure... there are some serious hanky panky scenes in there! so, you know, it might make you blush a little. or giggle. or just be all like "??!!?!!" because some of it's kind of shocking for those of us not used to some of the... ways... of the 18th century. which, i would imagine... is most of us. but hey, a lot of it's hot, too, i'm not complaining.

also! the 8th book has just recently come out in june! and don't you just knooow that big beauty made its way right here into my loving arms via my front door's bff, the UPS man. yay! i have been looking forward to this book coming out for what feels like an eternity... but... after all these years and words and pages, i decided to do what i've wanted to do for some time now, and i have started reading them all from the very beginning! it's been the best decision ever, because i'm currently four books in and totally in love all over again. i have so. many. feelings. very real, very many. and even though book eight is going to be staring a gi-normous hole straight through me until i make it back through books four and five and six and seven once again, i keep reminding myself not to rush through since there'll be a 9th book to come in another few years! whew! and sidenote: i almost cried the other night when i realized that i'd probably be 30 when book nine comes out, so let's just really not think about that too long.

and hey, remember that time our house flooded in that big nashville flood of 2010? well, i do ;) and it's funny because thinking back to that time, i really only got upset enough to shed tears over two specific things: one, my totaled car [rip black pathfinder!] and two, my ruined collection of outlander books. i am so weird sometimes, although i think there was a straw/camel's back aspect there, too. but honestly! i was just so upset to have lost all my books, and though i realized that a silly bunch of books could easily be purchased again, we were pretty much in a place where we had to purchase everything again, so i certainly wasn't going to prioritize book replacement of all things. and i was just sad. so, i guess at some point after that my sweet mommy had herself a fancy little idea, because the following christmas, after an absolutely crazy year, santa claus brought me a whole collection of brand new outlander books all over again... complete with hand signed bookplates for each book signed by the author, diana gabaldon herself! theee diana! birth mother of my beloveds! naturally, i cried. she even sent one for the then unfinished book eight, which amazingly enough, has successfully survived the last four years, and is now officially stuck inside my new, unread eighth book! so, you better believe these books now live on the highest shelf in the house, because they do. they do, indeed.

oh. and OH! it gets even better, o-kaaaay. outlander is coming out as a starz television show starting in august! iiii meeeean to tell you, i am basically not going to survive seeing it all unfold with my own two eyeballs and hearing the accents with my actual ears instead of having to make them up in my head and then reread paragraphs when i don't get them right in my brain. the casting is flawless, and i just can't even deal, this prospect is so hugely huge. so if you are my friend family acquaintance neighbor internet person, just prepare yourself, okay, because i am losing it over this stuff. [i mean what secret jamie & claire pinterest board shared with my best friend and sister?] and you can probably guess that i'm not planning to get aaaaany less enthusiastic... because like i said, i love being all in. :)

anyway, hey! if you're into this sorta thing... read outlander first! at least just the first book. it's so worth it. i really hate to think that some people are going to get to know this glorious story just through television... because reading, you know, it just goes way deeper!

so, it goes without saying, if you decide to pick the book up, let me know!! and if you haaave read outlander... can we talk about this forever please?! seriously, sometimes it's hard for me to pretend like i love talking about things that aren't jamie and claire.

all this to say... welllll, this is pretty much where i'll be for 2014!

and ps. ps. if you're reading the 8th book, don't you spoiler me, please!!!

and bonus ps! for the record, i did not think anything overtly scottish was hot at all before these books. nothing against scottish hotness, i just didn't! but game changer, here, i tell ya.

Monday, July 21, 2014

girls on duty

[a photo by maddalena!! oh, my baby photographer.
i sure know one thing that girl is getting for her birthday in 9 days!]

[she is ob-sessed with driving... iiii know another thing that girl is getting for her birthday in 9 days! ;)]

[handsome huck!! i just counted his years, pretty sure he's 15!]

[gosh i just feel like this trail holds so many secrets... and i want to know them.]

["i'm juuust gonna grab a few..." is what i said out loud to maddalena and minnie. 
but let me tell you, it's not possible to just grab a few.]

among other bunches of life things going on around here lately [some of them being those less photogenic things in life, right? like car maintenance and root canals?! i didn't get a root canal, poor stevey did. i had my car prettied up after someone carved a dirty word into it! still the weirdest thing ever!] my parents had to last-minute scoot out of town for a quick split last week, so maddalena and i were on mid-day farm duty for a few! and you know us... we love farm duty. we always love farm duty!

i also love pretty much everything i get to do with maddalena, which is... well, everything. :) madd and i were totally made for each other that way. although, don't get me wrong, my body physically aches at the end of every day. toddlers are busy! and what you don't realize, sometimes, is that you very quickly become a personal puppet/jester/servant, haha, and it's kind of hilarious. "chase! dance! hold! MESSY! KEAN UP!" and i just, like, do it, you know? still, i love it so much. i don't want to miss a single second of her!

i did mention it to steven recently, though, that i've found myself ready to find a leeettle bitty section of time that's cut out just for brittany... which is something that's super ridiculously hard for me! because given the choice, i pretty much always choose to be brittanymommywifey... but it's like i need just an additional couple of hours added to the day to press pause on life and just do my own thing for a tiny spell! buuut i'm pretty sure pressing pause is only possible in saved by the bell... and since i really prefer my brittany time to be late at night, anyway, that makes it a little bit easier for me to scrounge up. all i have to do is sacrifice a tiny dot of cuddle time and sleep! so, i guess i know i'm really not a mom of an infant anymore when i find myself back to saying "sleep shmeep!" not that i say that. it's more of a silent mantra. a sophisticated mantra, clearly!

anyway, i should probably get my bake on today before those "blueblacks," as madd called them this morning, go bad, huh! and then maybe we'll hit up that nordstrom anniversary sale that the internet's blowing up over, so shhhhh... i've got my eye on a pair of new leggings to live in [is that typical me, or what!], thanks to my girl maggie. :)

and guess what else? the sun is out! yaaay yay yay! let's go jump in it! thought i could make it through a handful of words without discussing the weather? wroooong! i love weather!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

fireflies in the summertime

growing up one of my biggest fears was always... to be honest... growing up.
what i didn't realize, though, is that you don't really have to grow up.
you get old enough to do certain things, sure,
like play house in an actual house, with a real kitchen, and real other people.
[i definitely had a handful of imaginary friends when i was little. never been much for alone time! ]
and then! well, you get to do kid stuff all over again!
i, for one, certainly never grew out of catching lightening bugs,
or at least watching them light up the pretty summer evenings...
but now, watching little eyes excitedly spot them, little [naked!!] bodies chase them,
and little hands catch them...
it's just the best. and it's completely magical.

*but i'm still not really up for getting wrinkles!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

oh, hey, life! hey, it's me, brittany...

[a few thingies here and there from over the last week]

1. fresh flowers all. of. the. time. make me so so happy.

2. as does having a baby girl who's so fancy [you already knooow!] i love when she accessorizes on her own. it's pretty much flawless.

3. i decided to finally see what the saltwater wearing club was all about, after hearing so many rave reviews! madd already has some and i was looking for something cutesier than my rainbows but hardier than my target sandals for when i'm tromping around the farm and such. i know people are all, "they mold to your feet!" but... i guess i'll just have to see, because i'm still working on that part. and really, they aren't anywhere near as comfortable as rainbows, but they are a little snazzier! so, the gold ones are now finding their rightful place in my summer wardrobe. and in maddalena's apparently. :)

4. i cannot believe how much chunkier my casey boy is compared to how skinny he got over the winter. i worried about that boy for months, so i'm certainly thankful he put on weight! but now he and comet are kinda out there chubbin! i'm thiiinking we need to saddle up one evening soon...

5. i seriously wonder what on earth we eat all winter long considering the amount of grilling we do in the summertime! i mean. it totally doesn't hurt to be married to a fabulous griller like steven.

6. finally got around to baking up a little blackberry cobbler using the literal fruit of my labor! wahoo! it was the cobbler that almost didn't happen, though, because i had to rush to the grocery store for some ingredients, only to come home and realize i was out of flour! but thank goodness for sweet neighbors. i felt so perfectly like a real neighbor wife sending steven next door to ask for a cup of flour! isn't that so real? made me want to watch desperate housewives. i loved that show. til it got ridiculous, but shows, they always seem to do that now, don't they?

but hey! anyway! so thankful for these little bitty things lately. it's easy to forget that every happy moment is a gift from the good Lord, and certainly not something to take for granted. life is short, you know! smell the roses. carry two purses. make ya some dessert. then maybe dance it off. :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

purple fingers, happy hearts

gosh, i'd been so looking forward to an afternoon of wild blackberry pickin'
on the farm ever since we did it last year!
we finally stumbled upon the perfect afternoon for it last friday.

my little grown up lady was sure into picking them herself,
and she did such a fabulous job. the purpley-er the hands, the better, if you ask me!

the worst is when you find a cluster of beauuutifully plump blackberries
that you just can. not. reach! and then you decide to maybe try...
and then you get a million thorns in your hands and arms.

hey! a visit from mr. chooch! madd loves any and all choochoos,
beacause i mean, who doesn't? but sweaty and worn out,
she was at first worried that it would be too loud to be so up close.
but no, then she loved it, and did what any rationally thinking girl would do...


...she took some photos, of course! gosh, i love her.

my mother's hustle when she gets after those blackberries is kiiind of amazing, ha!
she ain't scared of no thorns. [although she could've worn her gloves and prevented
minor blood loss, but that juuuust would've been too easy. and can we believe
she's probably the least stubborn of our family members?!
waaait, no. maybe christina is. or dad? okay, undecided. although, now i've gone
 and put me and my brother as the top two most stubborn, which is probably accurate. ;)]

miss lady got a little curious about that there train bridge that runs over the harpeth...
and while i'm sure she'll one day find it fascinating that in the civil war,
union solders were on our side, confederates on the other, and everyone was trying
to take control or whatever of the train situation,
by means of fire and bullets and such...
but for now we just stick with, "see! there's water underneath!"

and now, i know it's just dandy to frolic and play the eskimo way,
but i much prefer to romp around a warm, sunny field in the summertime.
summer stay forever, please!

ps. see that!? now we need to nail down how to make some
passion flower tea and use some of that growing passion fruit!

hashtag: nature girl. hashtag: can't help it.
hashtag: heeeeeey blackberry cobbler.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

in my big bag of tricks...

here is my confession for today, okay? i am a really curious person. [i'm curious like a cat! i have a couple of friends that call me whiskers! already getting off topic, but that is such an old fav. hay!]

anyway, i'm curious... borderline... too curious? i'm not that forward of a person, though, so i don't think i'm really too nosy, as much as i might actually want to be. i just love to know people's infos! i love to know things. so! this what's in my bag game is a super fun one to me when other people share, and so, i've decided to play...

heeere's what's inside my big bag of tricks!

first of all, i have carried big ole bags for years, and upon the discovery that i'd be having a little bebe, i was only too thrilled at the chance to carry a more ginormous bag! and while i did, at first, buy a snazzy leather diaper bag, i am now carrying the best bag ever, which is not a diaper bag at all. it's a handmade leather bag from mission lazarus, that me, my sister, and a few of my friends all carry! i love it so much i want to cuddle with it.

big bag essentials for mama + toddler!

1. supergoop! spf 50 spray sunscreen - this stuff is magic! i was first introduced to it through sweet morgan on our beach trip a year ago, and it has yet to fail us. i usually like to let madd get at least 15 minutes of unblocked sun for the health benefits, and then i spray her down. i mean, thank goodness for the spray-on these days! plus, it's all paraben and oxybenzone free. :)

2. tiny cute lysol - i mean. as much as i don't need to be inhaling this stuff any more than i already do using it at home, i just feel better about life if i have this with me! i'm all for a few germs contributing to the boosting of immune systems, buuut i just can't trust other people to not be gross these days. some peeps can just be nas-tay, am i right? plus, it's so cute. it's like, american girl doll sized!

3. honest co. diapers - i am more in love with honest company all the time. and! the summer patterns! maddalena loooves picking out which pretty diaper she is going to wear, and fyi girl moms: they currently have cupcakes!

4. ella's kitchen organic pouches - "pu-ple pouch!!" maddalena might make this request at any given moment, and if i don't have purple pouch, ooooh no, oh no, oh NO. these are the only pouches maddalena likes these days. mostly the purple. and the brown, too. the browns have prunes in them, which you have just got to have around for cloggy days. anyway, they're all organic! and since i have a picky little eater, i love that she loves these. i am very pro-convenience in this form.

5. hand lotion - duh. i usually have whatever fits nicely in there. that honest trial sample of lotion is perf to have on hand for both me and the babe!

6. beloved hobo lauren wallet clutch!! - i first had a target knockoff of one of these, and i loved it so much i wore it completely out and went for the actual real leather hobo version... and then i loved that one so much that i used it to death and got another! my current one has lasted years, though, and thank goodness. i seriously don't know if i can ever have anything different.

7. various maddo girl things - baby sunglasses, tiny madame alexander dolls, cinderella phone! a girl's gotta have her items! and ps. those itty bitty precious madame alexander dolls are past mcdonald's happy meal toys that you can search around for and purchase. i have had to keep myself from turning straight into a freaky doll woman, i love them so much! i put three in maddalena's first christmas stocking and they have been some of her favorite things!

8. changing pad & baby wipes - my changing pad came in my first diaper bag, and the huggies carrying clutch has been a recent addition to my always-have-with-mes!

9. makeup! - i usually put my face on in my car these days... mirrors, natural lighting, strapped down baby! that's how to get it done, huh! so, i never leave the house without my makeup in my bag, because i can't ever manage to get it on my face until i'm out the door!

so, i usually have all these things with me, which still leaves room to throw other, bonus things in as needed! these often include my big camera. an extra little bag with baby ibuprofin, rescue remedy, and teething tablets. a bib! and my iphone, of course! also, my water, her water, and maybe my kindle, too. haha. and still, i'm always like... "what am i forgetting?!"

ta-daaa! and there it is.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

i would like it to remain summertime forever, please!

[poolside family. i wish you could see little minnie, she's hidden by my chair! // watching a few  fireworks in the sky over farmhome]

ahhh, here we are in the glorious throes of summer,
and i'm never, never, ever letting it go!

the heat is hot, the swimming pools are warm...
the 4th of july weekend has now come and gone,
and ours was lovely, just lovely indeed!
i really hated for it to end, you know, because
long weekends with my beautiful people get me all kinds of spoiled.

anyway, since i still haven't quite figured out
how to slow time just yet [working on it...
but hey, science! a little help here!?]
i'll just be thanking my lucky stars as i go
for this perfect southern summer
with the people i'm just super in love with.

it's far too true that a summertime brittany
is a happy brittany,
so, here's to uvb rays,
burgers & dogs hot off the grill,
aaand america.

...oh, and love.

*today it's raining, and i'm totally okay with it. oh, the miracles of summer!

Friday, July 4, 2014

it's independence day!

happy independence day!!

we did some festivaling at our church last night at their yearly celebration,
and enjoyed such a beautiful fireworks display!
i wasn't sure how maddalena would do
[considering i'm still not allowed to vacuum 
because she hates loud noises!]
but she did great!
and gosh, every time she got a little nervous, i thought,
[and then said out loud to steven...]
but just imagine how frightened we would all be,
if this were actually the revolutionary war!
what a great reminder of how hard
the original american men and women
worked to create this life of freedom that we live!
american dream, indeed!

 one nation, under God, indivisible
with liberty and justice for all.

happy birthday, USA!