Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Identity Crisis

I'm having a serious case of identity crisis.

As I go on this journey to find my passions, I love looking at other things and people that inspire me.

But, you know what? When you start looking at other people, the feelings of inferiority are not far behind.

Do you ever get the feeling that you are the only one who doesn't have it together? Like surely everyone else is somehow managing parenting, marriage, work, and running a household better than you? And they also seem to find the time to plant a garden, can their goods, cook amazing meals, homeschool, and hand-make amazing things?

What is wrong with me? I sincerely want to be all that God has made me to be and those women sure do seem to be all I want to be. So, why is it so hard for me to do everything I feel everyone else is doing?

I try to stay on a schedule. I do occasional crafts with my kids. I even try my hand at fancy cooking. (But, I always come back to my trusty recipes.) This self-discovery is proving to be harder than I thought and I find myself continually questioning my life and my abilities. At times, I want to just give up and go back to being stuck.

But, this morning as I prayed, I could feel God asking me gently, "Brianne, why are you trying to be them? I made you different. Model yourself after me. And why are you putting your faith in your abilities? I am your strength. And don't put your identity in what you do or how successful you are. Your identity is in me."

This journey is a challenging one. I want to do so many things. I want to be so much. But, I can not keep allowing myself to question who I am. I am in Christ.

When I put myself next to Him, I don't feel inferior. I feel loved.

When I put myself next to Him, I don't feel lost. I feel at peace.

When I check out His Word, I don't feel helpless. I feel empowered.

Yes, God wants us to try new things and discover talents and gifts, but more than anything, He wants us to rest in the calm assurance that He is all we need.

I pray I can continue to become more confident of who I am...in Him.




Photobucket

Monday, July 30, 2012

What Did I Just Say?




Sometimes, with my youngest, I catch myself saying things and think, "I never thought I'd be putting those words together in the same sentence...."


Case in Point:


"Stop touching your wiener with the cracker!"




"Those are tampons, not popsicles."




Seriously? 


What are some strange things you've caught yourself saying...


out loud?



Photobucket

Friday, July 27, 2012

Oh Snap! Shot Friday: Life's a Beach!

My little rental house has a great covered front porch that we have thoroughly enjoyed this summer. That being said, it is quite empty looking since we have no furniture for it. And the only decorations we have are a bajillion toys, random household items, our redneck homemade water table (see pic below), and a miniature John Deer tractor for my toddler. So, let me just say that I doubt you will be seeing pics of my front porch on Pinterest anytime soon, or like,  ever


Even so, it is nice to have a place to step out of the house, even if it's raining, to get some fresh air. That being said, I would much rather be stepping out onto a private balcony overlooking the ocean and breathing in that fresh air. But, alas...


Oh well, I guess I could throw some sand and a few seashells in our homemade water table, stick my toes in that and just look at the beach in these precious pics...


In Real Life...


Oh Snap!

Isn't it the best...
...watching a kid play in the ocean?


...running around the sand without a care in the world?


...burying (or semi-burying) someone in the sand?
...spending the whole day just being together?


...how great kids sleep after playing so hard in the hot sun?


Those soooo make me want to just load up the car and head to the coast! But, then I remember the amount of packing that actually requires, the whole swimsuit thing, and BAM!... I'm over it.



PS. Next week's theme is: "Now that probably wasn't such a good idea, was it?" Send me pics of your kids or anyone caught in the act of something that could have or actually did end up with not-so-good consequences... I can't WAIT!!!


PSS. Be sure to sign up for my give-away (if you haven't already) to win the personalized Thirty-One organizing utility tote! Click here to register!



Photobucket

Thursday, July 26, 2012

It's Give-Away Time!

It's my very first Give-Away!

And You could win a 
Personalized
Thirty-One Organizing Utility Tote!


I got this one in the mail last week 
to try out and am crazy about it!


This is my Organizing Tote in Minty Chip



Adorable little grommets add detail...



I used mine to organize craft supplies.
I had quite a few random items, as you can see...




They all fit in the tote perfectly and I still have plenty of room to add more stuff!
(Okay, How did I ever live without this bag?)



My friend, Joy, who sells Thirty-One's fantastic products is not only hooking one of you up with one of these bad-boys... (and I mean bad in a good way), she's letting the winner pick their favorite fabric from Thirty-One's huge selection of colors and patterns. And as if that wasn't great enough, she's throwing in a free monogram. (Yeah, I know. She showed off...)


So, I asked her to tell us a little about the products and how she got into it. So, take it away Joy!


Hi! I'm Joy Gordon, and I am celebrating my first year with Thirty-One Gifts. I have been a stay at home mom for almost 12 years. As my youngest child was approaching full time school, I started praying and seeking wisdom on what I was supposed to do with the rest of my life. Then one day, on a whim, I signed up to sell. (and if you knew me, you would know that I don't do anything without a lot of thought.) I had been to a Thirty-One party before, and knew I loved the products. I had even been asked to sell before, but never wanted to. But, on July 25, 2011, I knew I was supposed to sign up. One year later, I am a director, with seventeen ladies on my team and getting paid more than any part-time job could pay.  I have also been able to be with my kids every single day of the summer.  Not only did God give me a job that helps provide for my family and that I can grow in, but He gave me a career that has boosted my self-esteem and given me a self-confidence that we stay-at-home moms can sometimes lose

Thirty-One is a faith-based Direct Sales Company, started in 2003, by a wonderful woman named Cindy Monroe.  She wanted to Celebrate, Encourage and Reward women and that is exactly how I feel every day.  Not only am I rewarded financially, but I get a chance to mentor and encourage the women on my team, just like I was encouraged...and still am. I am celebrated with every new accomplishment.  But the best part is, I love the products.  That's the only way I would sell anything...if I believed in it.  And I do.  The organizing utility tote for Brianne's give-away is one of our best sellers because it is so versatile.  You will ask yourself, "What I have I done my whole life without this bag?" It can be used for new moms, teachers, people with hobbies (scrap-booking, crocheting)...the possiblities are endless.  If you want to know more about this opportunity, please let me know. I have ladies from all over the country and a lot of tools to help you get started.  If you'd like you can visit my website: 

Once the give-away is over, I will contact the winner and go over all of the fabric and personalization choices to make sure the bag is exactly how you want it!  

Joy Gordon
Independent Director, Thirty-One Gifts
Shop now  - www.mythirtyone.com/JoyG


Or Feel Free to Call Me 334-799-1697




Isn't she 'tho 'thweet? Thanks Joy! 



Alright, peeps. Let's do this! 

To Enter, you must join Joy's Facebook page. 
Just click on this link and make a request: 


PS. She has amazing give-aways every month!!

**Only followers of Briantics can enter the contest. 
Just click 'Join the Site' above my fantastic group of followers! 
It only takes a sec. 

Once, you have met the two criteria above, 
click "Enter to Win" on the Official Entry below. 
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Photobucket

Monday, July 23, 2012

Dela-Where? : Part Two

For the first couple of days in Wilmington, I tried to stay near or at the hotel for the sake of saving extra money. We went to a couple of nice playgrounds and swam in the hotel pool. But knowing there was more to do outside that Doubletree plagued my brain. I decided those hotel walls could contain me no longer. So, we ditched the ice-cold indoor swimming pool and swam for greater things. (And knowing I had to blog about it later did motivate me, too. There's only so much one can say about a hotel swimming pool and playgrounds.)

So, I gathered my two little munchkins, punched "Attractions" on the Garmin and whatever tickled my fancy, I Googled on my iPhone. I'd discuss the plan with my oldest and if we were in agreement, off we went!

Here's one of our favorite spots we discovered after two days of hotel blah-blah.

Pennsylvania Colonial Plantation
The day we discovered this little gem, it just so happened to be July 14th, which was their annual fundraiser: "Pirate/Splash Day." (How perfect was that?) And once my oldest knew that water and pirates were involved, he was in. Did I mention it was raining? And icky? But, alas, I pressed onward through the mud and the animal poop in my maxi-dress and sandals. 

And I'm glad I did. It might have been a yucky day, but this fabulous place was worth visiting. The inspiring workers on this authentic historical plantation made our day quite memorable. And the rain? It eventually dried up...but Jayden still got soaked from his pirate adventures. Argh!


"Pirates of the Plantation"

Rubber Ducky Races!

Guess who's lucky duck won the race? :)
Yet, he was more excited about that grape dum-dum in his hand.

Opie, making paper like they did in the 1700's.

Yeah, that'd be Opie with the intense look of battle on his face.

Water Wars!

Defending their ship against water cannonballs

Peanut was curious about the rotating sprinklers.
His final verdict was... he did not like them.

He did like the chicken coop, though.
And, I leave you with this...

Quiz: Is that a Hen or a Rooster? 
Answer: I couldn't tell ya. 
But, I do know that it is a chicken.


Photobucket

PS. Hold onto your hats. I have one more "Dela-where" installment planned. Yeah, I know. You will hardly be able to sleep armed with such knowledge. But just try to contain your excitement, and rest up. You're gonna need all of your enthusiasm for the fantas-ticulous give-away beginning this weekend!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dela-Where? : Part One

While temporarily living in Maryland during my husband's job training, we drove up to New Jersey to look for a place to live. As we drove through Delaware, we joked, "Who lives in Delaware? You never hear anyone say they would love to end up in Delaware."

One year later, my husband got a job assignment for a couple of weeks to Wilmington, Delaware. We didn't want to be without him for so long, so I packed up the kids and headed to stay with him for a week. I figured while my husband worked, we could just explore. And I love exploring.

I searched the internet for "things to do with kids in Delaware" and flipped through visitor's magazines. I was pleasantly surprised. There was a lot to do, so I mapped out our week and we dove right in.

Fast forward to this year.

We just got back from our third trip to Delaware.  In fact, we love whenever my husband get's that two week assignment. Even if we only go down for a few days, we always find something new to do.

We really couldn't afford a vacation this year, so it was a pleasant surprise when he got the trip again. We actually got to go somewhere and do some neat stuff, and we didn't have to pay for a hotel! Sweet!


So, enough rambling. Here are my top reasons you've got to go to Delaware:

History.
Delaware is full of history (which, sadly,  is something I never appreciated until now).  It was the first state of the union, for crying out loud, so there are a gajillion places to visit that make you appreciate our nation's history. The DuPont family began there and their amazing estates will make you ooh and aah. If you are a history buff, this is your heaven.

The Land.
It's breathtakingly beautiful. Marshes, rolling hills, manicured gardens, winding creeks, and rivers make for amazing landscapes that urge you to just keep driving and driving. And you can't help but imagine our country's first battles that occurred on the very land you are discovering.

Downtown Wilmington Waterfront. 
It is full of attractions, great restaurants and things to do. This is where we've spent a lot of our time. (and we still haven't seen it all!)

Close Proximity to Philadelphia. 
I adore Philadelphia. It's my favorite place to explore. It is definitely a diverse city with so many things to do. We haven't even touched the hem of the garment in that town. I've got lots undone on my Philly To-Do List...


Here's some pics of our trip to Dela-Where, I mean, Delaware. Click the links below to check out more.

Eating Colonial Flavors of Ice Cream in Historic New Castle, Delaware
Gorgeous Tree-lined Street in Historic New Castle

Peanut, walking the boardwalk in the marsh at the DuPont Environmental Education Center.
.
The Smith Indoor/Outdoor Playground (yes, it's a mansion just for playing) in Philadelphia.

Opie, figuring out air-flow at the Delaware Children's Museum.
On a ferry ride to Fort Delaware.

Outside the American Helicopter Museum in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

And there's plenty more where that came from....

Photobucket

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Oh Snap! Shots Friday: Dog Days of Summer

Holy Macaroni.

It's summer in Jersey and it's hotter than a hoot-nanny. I mean, I hoped I would get some respite from the heat by moving this far North, but, no such luck. It is as humid and hazy here as it ever was in Sweet Home Alabama. Combine that with my fear of wearing bathing suits and shorts and you have a seriously overheated situation.

But, I couldn't take it anymore.

I broke down and bought some shorts...first time in years. And you know what? I don't look like a million bucks, but hey, at least my bucks ain't sweatin...

Hope your summer is filled with shade, shorts, swimming pools and sweet tea!


In Real Life, 
Oh Snap!


Nothing says 'Summer' like:

Frozen yummies,



 It looks like a murder scene, but it's just red Slushie...


Strappin' on a pair of goggles,




Floatin' in the pool, 








Or Gettin' Wet in the Back Yard.

No matter the big pool behind them....

Redneck Swimming Pool.

Really Redneck Swimming Pool. :)


In this heat, just remember to stay hydrated... 



I had SO many pictures submitted, that I am going to have to break it up into TWO posts! So, next week will be Summer Oh Snap! Shots: Beach Edition! So, if you didn't see you picture, don't fret! I hold onto them all! 

I have TONS to share with you this week: My first give-away (finally!), My first guest blogger (BTW, you're gonna love her) and my not-really-so-much-a-vacation vacation this past week to Delaware. 

So, be sure to follow the blog so you don't miss a thing

Photobucket

PS. I am afraid of losing the pics that you send me, so from now on please just send them via my email at brianticsblog@gmail.com  That way, I don't have so many places to look and won't forget to post the pics you took the time to send me! Between my two email addresses, Facebook, and my cell-phone, I feel like a picture juggler! :) Thanks for understanding!