Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Joining the Army Reserve?

Travis has been talking about wanting to do something with the military since we started dating. 

Then someone came in and spoke to his class about joining the Reserves. He came home excited about it, but I refused to talk about it, not wanting him to join (I was being selfish). He stopped talking about it since he knew it wasn't getting him anywhere.

Then a month or so ago, he brought it up again.

This time though, I listened because for him to bring it up again, means that he is still thinking about it. He told me all about the great benefits along with the cons of joining. 


*It could maybe help him get into a VA hospital - which is something he may want. 
*We will get money every month that won't go towards school loans.
*We will get up to $50,000 to pay towards school loans.
*Health and dental are $60 a month.
*Due to his education, he will be entering with a higher ranking.
*Only having to serve the weekends once a month. 
*He will have to be gone for two full weeks during the year (however, from the sounds of it, I can go as well, and we can get a hotel) for training.
*If he wants to (which Trav would love) we can ask to go to a certain place for a year (Travis really wants us to go to Germany).
*Will only have to serve for two years of being "active" after he graduates.

*Maybe being called over seas. However, he would be in the hospital setting. 

But.. you never know how the world works or when something might happen.

So we prayed about it and I am okay with it. I feel like if something would be stopping us, God would fill my heart with uneasiness about the whole situation. AND, the thing that made me feel much at ease is knowing that if my cousin, solider I adopted, or any solider at all got hurt, than I would want Trav (or someone like him) taking care of him.

He talked to a recruiter and everything sounds good and that he would be able to join, except for the fact that he has to:

*Lose 2 inches or twenty pounds. 

That's a lot. So that could stop this whole process, but Trav is determined. And usually when he puts his mind to something, he accomplishes it.

Since probably late November, Trav has lost twenty pounds and is looking and feeling great! His clothes are baggy, and his belts are one loop from not fitting (although they used to be too small before).

So now, he is determined that he loses these inches as soon as he can. 

The last time he was twenty pounds lighter was when he was a sophomore in high school. He currently weighs less than when we got married.

I feel as though if he is unable to join the Reserves, than that is God's way of saying not to go.

Travis worked as hard as he could after finding out how much he had to lose. He worked out a lot, ran a lot and watched what he ate.

On April 30th, he went in to talk to his recruiter and to see if he lost anything more.

He lost the two inches. (Yes, in that short amount of time). I am so proud of him because he has worked so hard! And when he's determined to get something, it usually happens.

So on May 19th he's doing a Physical test. He seems to be excited about it all, but he told me something else I wasn't expecting to hear.

After his two years of being active, he could still get called overseas six years (totaling eight years). But Trav said the last time that happened was during the Vietnam War, so he is not worried. But that doesn't make me not worried.

I'm not trying to be selfish in this whole thing that I want my husband to be home the entire time, and what military wife doesn't want. All wives want is their husbands to be safe. 

I just worry. I don't like all the uncertainty involved with this all. I know I need to give it all to God.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,
 by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present 
your requests to God. And the peace of God, which 
transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts 
and minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7

Please send some prayers our way. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Must Be Doin' Something Right

You guys, I promise, I don't tell him to write me these things. This is some of the sweet stuff he writes all the time. I am one lucky girl to have such a sweet, loving husband. 

I can't imagine my life without you either babe. I love you to the moon and back.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Babies are a true gift from God. On April 7th that my best friend, Kate, and her husband, found out that they are expecting a little GIRL

They are going to make truly wonderful parents. This baby will be so blessed. 

I can't wait to meet my little "niece" and spoil her! She is so beautiful. Can't wait to kiss those sweet little cheeks!

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, 
before you were born I set you apart." 
Jeremiah 1:5

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The River City

When Trav's mother, brother and my sister came in town, we decided to hit up Memphis while Travis was in school. Trey has never been to Memphis before, and I'm not going to lie, it was a blast. The place that Trey and Brittany have never been before was Sun Studio's. This is one of Trav's favorite places in Memphis and every time you go in, you learn something new.

Sun Studios
Sun Studios was opened by Sam Phillips in 1950, and originally named it "Memphis Recording Service". Sun Studios recorded famous singers such as: Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lewis, and some other big names.

People from all over were able to come in and make a record. Elvis got his start here. In 1953, Elvis walked in claiming that he wanted to sing a song for his mom. Although we all love this story and think it's so sweet, it turned out to be a lie (sad face). 

Phillips wasn't there that day, but Marion Keisker, a secretary at Sun Studios', made a copy to give to Phillips because she was so excited after hearing Elvis record. 

When Phillips heard it, he wasn't as thrilled about it, but in 1954, Phillips invited Elvis to come back to sing a song. Although no progressed seemed to be made, Elvis started singing "That's Alright, Mama" and Phillips liked what he heard, so he got it on the radio. People liked it too, and they wanted to hear it over and over again. And we all know where that went from there.

These are five of Elvis' greatest records recorded by Sun Studios.

One of my favorite pictures of all time.
Last time I went into Sun Studios with Dan, they told us about Elvis' microphone (one that he used). However, this time, they didn't mention it. But we did in fact have messing around with it.


Of course we had to get some pictures standing outside.


If you're ever in Memphis, you def. need to hit up Sun Studios. It is so much fun to hear about the birth of Rock n' Roll.


After that, we went off to see the Peabody Hotel Ducks. Although we got there 15 minutes early, it was PACKED. There were tour buses and people almost stacked on top of each other just to catch a glimpse.

That's how bad of sight we were 15 minutes early (so if you go, make sure to get there maybe an hour early?). As we were leaving, I felt a pinch on the butt, by no other Travis Michael who finally made an appearance :)

We then went to Pigs to eat because it is only Trav and Trisa's favorite place to eat. Travis made other believers out of Noah and Shelly when they were here too. However, I am not all into BBQ, so I settled for Chicken Fingers off of the kid's menu with honey mustard sauce.

Afterwards we went to a different couple of places that allowed my 19 year old sister (since she's not 21 yet). One place we decided to check out was Jerry Lewis' restaurant.

They had an Elvis tribute band (along with other songs from this time period) playing and gave us seats right next to them. 


This is the first time that I had seen of Brittany having a GREAT time where you could tell she actually felt relaxed without a care in the world. We all loved it.

This band was pretty awesome. The guitar player (although he didn't play a guitar player in the movie) was in Walk the Line. The bass player is playing with Jerry Lewis in today's concerts. And the drums player? During part of the show, he threw his sticks to Trisa.

Let's just say, it went as well if I'd have caught them. It was fun :)

And to top it all off, we all shared some of this incredible chocolate cake:

I will say that I enjoy Memphis so much better than Nashville. It was great people, food, and music.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Things That Make Me Happy: My Routine

Not only is it good to have a healthy body, but also a healthy mind. It has only taken me 26 years to figure that out. 

To have a healthy mind, is to love my life. My life needs routine to feel balanced. If no routine or a balanced lifestyle = I become a unhappy person. Most people look up to me as their ray of sunshine {haha, okay that's a good laugh and a lie} but I try to stay positive and happy so that way, I in turn, can help make someone else feel better. 

I have tried to make myself a daily routine that I am happy with. And although I like to keep my routine, there are days that it gets completely thrown off, so some things don't happen. That's to be expected, right? 

And yes, I get to do these things because I don't have any kids yet. My routine will def. change when that time comes :)


*Wake up three hours prior to having to go to work (2 1/2 if I feel like sleeping in a bit), kiss the hubby and the babies, and sniff Doterra Peppermint Oil* to feel more energized because I am still half asleep at this point. But most importantly, thank God for giving me another day.
*Workout. Either means by actually hitting up the gym or doing a video in my pjs (because otherwise, we know this won't be happening later on in the day). Lately, I've been getting my groove on with Zumba if I'm at home. Dancing will make any bad mood disappear and make you feel better for the rest of the day. I just found Heather Passons' Zumba* workout video and I am hooked. *Also for you that may be hooked as well, she just announced she will be coming out with more videos soon! I can't tell you!*

And I love that I can do this in the privacy of my own home because:

I am the most uncoordinated person on the planet.
But I have fun, it doesn't feel like a workout,
leaves me in a better mood, and I drink at least
one glass of water while doing it.

*Start some chores around the house, because let's face it: nobody has time for that once you get home (and who wants to after work anyways?) Feed the babies, clean out the litter box and I try to do something else so I don't have to do it later: take out trash, start dishes or laundry, vaccuum, etc. And I make the bed. I used to think there was no point to making the bed, but now I can't even imagine jumping into a bed that isn't made. An un-made bed makes me cringe (only when it's ours).
*Start my oil pulling routine. Don't know what oil pulling is? Read about it here: WTF is Oil Pulling and Why I'm Hooked and Whiten Teeth Naturally. Basically, I take coconut oil and swish it around my mouth for 20 minutes. 20 minutes??! I know, it sounds like forever, but it isn't that bad. Actually, I:
*Jump in the shower (yes, while swishing coconut oil in my mouth). I use Kirkland shampoo* and conditioner* from Costco. I really like to use these products because it makes my hair smell fantastic for the rest of the day. Also, if I use these products and close my eyes, I am taken back here:

Our outdoor shower in Kaui at the place we stayed 
for our honeymoon. At first I was too scared to get
in, but by the end, I made excuses to get in.
Not only because it was beautiful, but also
because I loved how my hair would feel using
the Kirkland products.

*Beautify myself by putting makeup on. I have found lately, that this is an important step of being an adult. I am still learning this process, and also learning how to do my hair. (I am not going to lie, usually, I just put my hair up or pull it back.. even though I get up super early, I still have no time to do my hair).
*Take my vitamin. And I give the animals their vitamins and a treat too (they aren't spoiled or anything... ha)
*Then I brush my teeth, floss (even though I should floss before I start the oil pulling), and do whatever else I need to do before heading to work.

Try to:
*Walk the dogs. Exploring nature is awesome. And it is great for the pups and your own health.
*Take more pictures of my life in general. When school started school, I thought I wouldn't have a lot to look forward to. That is not true. And since he has started school, I have found a lot of things that make me pretty happy and taking pictures is one of them :)

*Finish anything that might be on the do list. If not, move it for the next day.
*Take makeup off. Brush teeth again.
*Put Doterra Lavender Oil* on my temples, on Trav's feet (and lately I have been putting it on Gracie's feet to help her sleep as well). It makes sleeping (not all the time) so much more peaceful. And we have found that getting up in the morning, we feel so much more restful.
*Read a passage from the Bible.
*Pray and talk to God. Have a conversation with Him.
*Give the hubby and the babies a kiss goodnight. (Don't ever want to forget to do this because you never know what might happen the next day - or even if you will get another day).

*No one has paid or asked me to write reviews on these products. This is my personal opinion.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Half Way!

Today this stud is half way through his program. He's finally up on that hill, and it's only down sailing from here. :)
Picture taken during his DR trip.
Read more about it here.
Only a year, 3 months, and 15 days left. 

But hey, who's counting??!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies w/ M&M's

Who doesn't love Peanut Butter cookies? This is what I have been making for weeks when I am craving something sweet. They are easy and fast to make. And 100% friend approved (I have made them for the last couple weeks when someone comes to visit and they all love them!)

Mother-in-law bought a huge bag of M&M's when she came into town. To make the cookies colorful, I added some of them to the Peanut Butter Cookies. They are perfect for an early Easter treat!

The recipe I use is from the Food Network found here.


1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
salt for sprinkling (I add at least 1 tsp of salt in the batter)


1. Place racks in the upper and third level of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
2. Mix sugar, peanut butter, vanilla, salt. Lightly beat egg in another bowl, then add to mixture.
3. Place on cookie sheet. Flatten with crosshatch pattern using fork. Sprinkle some extra salt on top for tasting.
4. Bake in oven for 5 minutes.
5. Take cookie sheet out of oven. Place M&M's in the cookies.
6. Place the cookie sheet back in the oven on the other rack placement. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until golden around the edges. Transfer to cooling rack and let sit for a couple of minutes.
7. Enjoy all this deliciousness!

They are AMAZING! And who would have guessed that they are flourless? Friends and I can't even tell! 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Finding the Right One

Before meeting Trav, I wasn't in a good relationship. After closely watching friends relationships, I finally realized that this relationship wasn't a great one. {Note: If you're in a bad relationship and you think for some reason they will eventually get better within time, they don't.} Many were surprised about the break up because I hid many things about how the relationship truly was.

After Mr. M found out about what happened with the break-up, he asked the question:

"Do you know how you found the right one?"

I shook my head no, as I listened carefully to the words that I would never forget.

"When you think that person deserves someone so much 
better than you, but they choose to still be 
with you anyway."

These words are so true. Especially in a relationship because you're not perfect. You're going to make silly mistakes. But that person will love you with all your mistakes and with everything they have.

But what you really need to find the right one is God.

I had fun on the dating scene for a little bit, but I wanted a more serious commitment {a happy one}. Previously, I didn't talk to God that much: it was sad to say, but my focus wasn't on God. That needed to change. 

I prayed and told God that I would be patient. I would wait for whoever he chose to be in my path, because after all, it is all in his plan. What I really needed was a man who knew the Lord.

Soon afterwards, I was told about this guy named Travis. I went on a first date and fell instantly and madly in love with him. (You can read more about our first date here.)

It is in God's timing.

Travis and I could have met in so many different ways:

*We only lived 5 minutes away from each other.
*We should have went to the same elementary school, but the year I moved to the area, the school system changed the school's borders, making me end up going to a school a little further.
*We could have went to the same middle school, but again, the road that we lived on different sides of, was the border line for each middle school.
*We went to the same high school. However, there were about 700 people that graduated with us. We had some of the same friends, and one of my friends had a crush on him, but for some reason, she either never pointed him out to me, or if she did, I didn't pay attention. Imagine though, we sat in the same lunch room, probably at least one time together, but didn't even know each other.
*We both attended Kate's wedding. We sat a table away. We have a picture together where his date is crossed out, and you can see us both.
*We went to a friend's bonfire, but when he arrived, I was leaving. We did say a brief hi to each other as a friend introduced us, but I was in a hurry to get somewhere else.

If it wasn't for God's great timing, we could have never even met, or, if we did meet each other before the time that God wanted us to meet, we could have very well ended up not together. 

How do I know that Trav is the one for me?

Travis is my answered prayer. 

He deserves so much better than me, and he still chooses to be with me. He treats me like I'm something he doesn't want to lose, loves me unconditionally, and would do anything for me without hesitation. He deserves someone so, so, so much better than me. He is much more than I could have ever even dreamed of. God put him in my path to love and to cherish. Most importantly, we value God above all and seek him through our relationship.

Although I felt like I wasted three years with someone, but without that guy, I would have never characteristics that I wanted in a man. I would have never appreciated the small things (one thing that Trav reminds me of because he is so thankful for that). I would have know that happiness existed in relationships. I would have never known what true love looks like. I think God wanted me to be in that relationship, so I could realize that when he placed Trav in front of me, I knew he was going to be different. I knew he was going to be the right one.

God knows so much. He knows the perfect timing for everything. He will bless you. Have faith in God's timing. 

Timeless Essence Photography

Thursday, April 3, 2014

This & That

*Shelly and Noah came to visit. :)
*Trav is seriously thinking about joining the Reserves, and is starting the process of talking to a recruiter this week.
*I tried a yoga class for the first time - I can cross that off my bucket list (and add it too... haha!)
*Did my first photo session of the year.
*Family will be coming in town this week.
*Mowed the lawn for the first time this year! (Only the front though  - which like everyone else's in our neighborhood - is covered in weeds)

The Beginner's Guide to {Deep} Cleaning {LOVE this site! I can't wait to do this - after everyone comes in town. Yes, I should have done it before, but... like most things, I wait until the last minute, or do it at another time}

We haven't done much cooking this week since our friends were in town. We've done a lot of eating out (and although I feel bad about it) - not having to cook and eat INCREDIBLE food all week - is well.. a joy in life.

However, Trav did cook some steaks outside that were pretty amazing for being on manager special. It was fun to sit outside and enjoy the weather. We def. need to eat outside more often and use the grill that Tyler and Caroline are letting us borrow since they can't have one in their apt complex.

I LOVE yoga! At first, I couldn't help but snicker to myself because of how I probably looked. I didn't think that I would actually be able to relax because I am a pretty tense person, but by the end, I felt so much pressure released.


Got (love - yup, that's what I call them because they are sent with love) letters from two friends this week - Kayla and Kate. I am so blessed beyond words to have such sweet, caring friends that make everyone around them feel so special.

Friends/Family Updates:
*My dad had a kidney stone. He had to have surgery on Tuesday to remove one, but there is another one in his gall bladder. He will need to see a specialist for that one.
*Kate will be having an ultrasound next week! Although she will be finding out the gender of the baby (she will be excited either way), she is more concerned about finding out if the baby is healthy. 
*Shannon and her family will be moving into a different place this week. I'm so excited for them :)

To put my first session up on the webpage for 2014!

Happiness is:
Having wonderful people in your life.

Watching the sunset with good friends.

Jammin' to:
Let Her Go - Passenger {Could listen to this song a million times over}

Father Surprises His Daughter with Walking Her Down the Aisle {This made me bawl my eyes out. Love that a father was willing to do this with his daughter to have that special moment with her. So, so, so sweet. I would be able to photograph moments like this, however, I think I would be crying right with them.}

This dress. 
I am not a person who usually wears a lot of color (wish I was), AND I honestly never felt comfortable in a long dress, but.. this dress made me feel incredible. And no, I didn't get it because at this time, it's too much money. However, it is $40 at Maurice's (in case you might be interested!)

My motivation is gone for working out and eating healthy this week and we might as well say for this next week. My motivation right now is trying to catch up on some zzzZzZZz's.

News this Week:
*Washington Mud Slide update
*Pyramid Tomb entrance discovered
*Obamacare sign ups
*Still not sure what happened to the Malaysian flight. But here is the last words that were heard.
*Fort Hood had another shooting. 

Obsessed with:
Beautiful weather. Sad to see that it is supposed to rain most of the week. Everyone feels better when the weather is nice.

Prayer Requests:
*For those who are protecting our country, including my handsome cousin Matthew who is overseas.
*Lyndie and her family as they are going through the adoption process. The adoption process isn't an easy one, but they are eager to be matched with a little boy.
*Kate (Steven) and Emily (Michael) for peace and comfort.
*Baby S to continue to grow strong and healthy (and for him/her to show their parts in 3 weeks for the ultrasound to know if it is a boy or a girl!)
*For a friends family - trying to keep the pieces together.
*My dad had a kidney stone. He had to have surgery on Tuesday to remove one, but there is another one in his gall bladder. He will need to see a specialist for that one.
*Families of those in Fort Hood. Can't even imagine what they are going through.

Note: I hate going into our shed. There are bugs, snakes, and probably mice in there. Travis told me to get a shovel out of there, so I open the shed up and stomp my feet in the shed (so if anything was hiding - it would scurry out). The shovel was all the way in the back, so I reached for it and as I grabbed it - something flew my face. Naturally a high pitched scream managed to come out of my mouth as I ran out of the shed. Trav watches me and from the distance tries to see what was going on. After running out I realized it was just a moth. "A moth was after me!" A little over reaction I guess, but Trav was laughing for minutes afterwards (no joke).

Reading Deuteronomy :) Let me tell you: it is so much easier to understand than Numbers. AND, there are so many great words and quotes, that I'm honestly putting my highlighter to good use.

Soul Mate:
Trav will be talking to a recruiter today about joining the Army Reserves. He has always wanted to do something in the military since before I've even met him. And right now, it would be perfect timing. Prayers will be much appreciated.

This week we learned about being salt in the world: aka a "salty person". Sounds bad, but, it means that you add flavor to the world. People look forward to you. As we were listening to the sermon, all I could think of was, "I need to be more salty" I mean, I would have never said that before.

As we left church, we headed to our car. Trav held my hand and told me basically, "You are the salt in the world". I honestly looked at him so confused because I don't feel that way. When I think of a "salty" person, I think of Trav: he is willing to do anything for anyone. "You make people feel so special when you see them," Trav informed me. 

Thanks babe. :) I feel the same way about you. And thanks for making me feel so special and that although I may not see it, you (and hopefully others) see it as well.

This week, and always, I will try to be more salty in this world :)

(Not) Understanding:
We love having people come and visit, don't get me wrong - getting out of routine is easy, but at the end of the week, I don't understand how we have so much laundry and how the house is so dirty. I'm not talking about the guests, I'm talking about Trav and I. We try to keep the house up when we have people over, but it still looks like a mad house. LOL.

Hoping to volunteer sometime today! :) I really love being able to make the dogs treats and being able to talk to them. I believe some of them really know if I am talking to them.

Finally found a zumba video I LOVE. I cannot recommend this video enough - even though I only got to do the first 40 minutes because I was dying of sweat. I love Zumba because it is so fun and doesn't even feel like a workout. And with this video, Heather (the instructor) makes it so much fun, I feel like I'm in her class with being able to see her clearly, in the own privacy of my home, AND, Heather seems to have an awesome fun personality - making you become addicted to it! Awesome. She has her workout videos on her webpage if you'd like to check them out.

X {Random):
Got a newer litter at Sam's club because they stopped carrying the one I usually get. Purnia Lightweight Litter has great reviews, but I couldn't stand it. It was stuck all in Jax's paws and although I have a mat for extra litter that may come out of the litter box, it would still end up everywhere in the house. I would never recommend it.

Also, Trav and I took Shelly and Noah to Memphis on a Sunday. We really enjoyed it and had such a great time. There weren't a lot of people there (I get anxious in crowds), and we enjoyed exploring. Loved seeing the river (sad, but true, I didn't even know there was a river close by) and listening to the jazz music. It is such a small town feeling in a big town. I think that's what makes it so awesome. If I had to live in a city, I don't think I would mind living there.

Youtube Videos that you Need to Watch:
Poo Pourri {Oh my... LOL}

(Our) Zoo:
We took Gracie for a walk the other day. You guys, this is HUGE. She doesn't know what a collar or leash is, and when she sees it comes, she is terrified. She didn't want to move and if she did, she slipped out of the collar and than the harness as well. So we actually put them all together and the leash held them together. Although it was probably super uncomfortable and she fought with us about going, as soon as we went down one street, she finally relaxed. She looked happy, although she was scared of seeing people play basketball and of cars zipping through the neighborhood. But she did it, and she actually liked it. However, putting the things on her again, she may freak out, but maybe she'll eventually not hide every time when we go to put her leash on.

She also enjoyed some steak as we were pretty much done with it, and I was cleaning the dishes up. She jumped up and gobbled it down before I turned around. Was expecting her to get sick in the middle of the night, but thankfully her stomach is a champ, and she has had no reaction to it.

Trig and Tatum probably wished they would gotten to the steak first. LOL. 

Jax has been pretty loving lately and always wants to snuggle up to his daddy.

Payson has been sneaking into the garage lately. The other day came home and found him in the garage. Pretty scary because the end result could have ended much worse. I am hoping that scared Payson into not wanting to go into the garage, but he sneaks out there when the door is open.

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