Tonight my life is rewinding back 15 years to the days of slumber party. Since our men are cruising (tough life, I know) the girls are having a slumber party! It will be complete with sweet treats and pizza. I'm thrilled. It Promises to have tears shed and dark circles in the morning. So thankful to have a group of women that I love and admire. They show how to love the lord more and how to love David better.


war eagle.

david and i have always said that the special thing about auburn is not the sports. (although, we're pretty awesome these days) the special thing about the plains is the family that lives there. it is a pride that cannot be explained. a tie that runs deep.
this is what auburn is:

The Auburn Creed

I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work.

I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and trains my mind and my hands to work skillfully.

I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot win the respect and confidence of my fellow men.

I believe in a sound mind, in a sound body and a spirit that is not afraid, and in clean sports that develop these qualities.

I believe in obedience to law because it protects the rights of all.

I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all.

I believe in my Country, because it is a land of freedom and because it is my own home, and that I can best serve that country by "doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with my God."

And because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and love it.

-George Petrie (1945)



get ready world, i'm getting trendier by the second.

i would like to note that getting i heard so many affirming things from my children at school, such as:
what happened to you?
did you cut your own hair?
are you mrs. brannen?
...just to name a few. awesome kids. good thing i don't take your fashion advice since you wear pokemon shirts and have velcro shoes.


arts and crafts.

this week (while we were off...hallelujah!), we did a little craft time. i have been seeing a ton of nature-ish stuff in anthro and pottery barn (two faves) so i decided to try to copy some. david and i drove around for a while until we came upon this spot.

now i dont't know if you know much about texas (epecially dallas), but trees are kinda hard to come by.

so we found some limbs and made this:

i love this kind of stuff.

we have also been busy on our tree. i love christmas. so much.
and..super random but shout out to our friends hector and emily. you can see what they are like here. they are pretty great and about to have a sweet baby boy, cohen. it was also hector's birthday this weekend.


the best day of the year.

well friends, this was, hands down, one of the best days of the year.
reason #1. we got a christmas tree. and we don't do those fake ones.it's a real, smells like christmas, they make candles because it's so awesome, tree. it just makes me so happy.

#2. auburn beat satan alabama. it is just the greatest feeling in the world. i almost cried, threw-up, and peed my pants all at the same time. too much? sorry.
war eagle. we both love auburn so much. it's intense.

war eagle and merry christmas.


give thanks.

we have family extravaganza at the brannen home/apt. this week.  it has been a ton of fun.
here are some pics to enjoy:

our lovely table..this was definitely a womanly rite of passage

david carving the turkey..another rite of passage

this is how cooper contributed

stereo equipment... they are the same person, i'm convinced

in texas, we love bull and cowboy statues. this is one of about 20 surrounding our apt.

well, we are getting our christmas tree soon!


family time is fun time.

the brannens are in texas! the whole gang flew out here friday and we've been socializing it up with extended family. i love that special time when someone in the fam gets married and you know you'll get to see everyone. we did miss sally. but you can see what she is doing here. she's awesome and we chatted via skype with her in cambodia last night, in a storage closet. yes, storage closet.
bucky (cousin) married katy this weekend in dallas which was very convenient for us.
here are some pics:


is it too much...

is it too much to ask that somewhere in dallas sell a christmas tree before thanksgiving?
i just can't wait to have one of these in my living room.



this past weekend i had "girls' weekend" in birmingham with my cousins and sweet grandma. i am so glad that i have such a great fam. here are some pictures from the weekend.

grandma with ansley

girl cousins...and lane (brother)

lane and grandma

dad, grandma, and i


finn & quinn.

happy halloween blog friends!

we have had some really fun, festive celebrations in good ole' texas.
last night, our booster fam had a great halloween party. it was AUsome (ode to auburn).
here's the backstory on our costume:
if you haven't seen glee, you should. glee is a show about a high glee club full of drama. finn (one of the main guys) and quinn dated at the beginning and quinn got pregnant. whoops. (there's also more drama behind that one)
well, so many people have told david, "hey, finn reminds me of you so much." "if you could sing and dance, i imagine you would be like finn." finn isn't exactly the smoothest dude. david hates this. if you know david well, you know that he takes things literally. so he pretty much acts like he is finn when we watch glee. you can just see his blood boil a little bit.

so, after much convincing, here we are:

the real finn and quinn:



here are a few of our favorite things:

one of our favorite couples.
jake and emily lacy

chuys mexican.

anthropologie. (well, maybe just me)

community group.


auburn. duh.

the idea of exercising.

the name moses. for real.

mason jars.

real fall weather.

sweets of any kind.

sweet tea.

...just to name a few.


i obsess easily.

david and i went to a mini concert/awesomeness session last night at the house of blues.
drew and ellie holcomb.
and ben rector.
if you know me well, you know that i like am a little a lot obsessed with drew and ellie. so it was no suprise that they were wonderful.
but, i have not seen ben rector. well, i am now slightly obsessed with him now too.

check both of them out. they are amazingly talented and they love jesus. double threat.



if this doesn't look like fall, i don't know what does.

making pumpkin bread, sunflowers, gingham and a big pumpkin


mom time.

my mom came to texas this week! it was so much fun. david was in houston doing booster stuff and she came to keep me company. i am so thankful that she was here. we had so much fun and got to do a bunch of girlie things.
here are some great pics.
at zizikis. my favorite greek restaurant. mmm...

at bread winners. also, my fave.

state fair of texas. corny dog.
can you tell that our week revolved around food...and well, shopping.


the word.

i just love this verse so much. i thought i'd share.
1 peter 3:15
"but in your heart set apart christ as lord. always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have."

the hope we have in christ is noticed. at least it should be. i cannot take credit for my joy, it's only because of jesus in me.


jan. what a man.

david and i started off our lovely sunday with some laziness (we go to the 5:30 service at watermark) and then some errands. one of the stops was sams. we love that place. as we were checking outm david had a craving for a sam's hotdog (completely normal in our world). in line he met a man in a motorized wheelchair named jan.
jan looks exactly like a 75 yr santa claus with a vietnam veteran hat on. he asked david if he had been in the army, then invited himself to sit with us as david ate his dog.
we sat with jan, in the sam's food court area for two hours. you probably won't believe the stories he told us but you can't make this stuff up!
jan proclaimed all of these things about himself during our convo: highest mcat score ever. ever.; spy during the vietnam war; publisher by day (i was offered a job); unlicensed surgeon, was married to a chinese woman who was always on the look-out for indians for 54 yrs; jeweler (promised me an amber bracelet); bi-lingual (chinese/english); knew richard nixon.
now i don't know how much of this is true but you better believe that the first thing we did when we got home was google him. and some of it actually panned out. unreal.
we have his digits so we can hang out again at sams and get that amber bracelet. he said it matched my eyes.
just another day in our life.



what is it about fall that brings so much joy to my heart?
i love feeling that cool breeze.
pumpkin spice candles.
making banana bread.
open windows.
fall wreaths.

...just to name a few.



A couple of weeks ago we got a really neat opportunity. Booster (David's work) is partnering up with Chick-Fil-A. This is so exciting for me because I LOVE Chick-fil-A and I love Booster.
Well, Dan Cathy (owner of chick) was in Dallas so the Booster team hosted all of his events while he was here. One of the things that they did was a "Chick-fil-A" night at the Ranger game.
So we have the pleasure of handing out sanwiches and coupons after the first day of school, on the hottest day of the year. No big. It ended up being totally worth it because I got to meet Dan Cathy. He is like a celebrity to me. Seriously.
Here are some pics.
sweet official chick-fil-a shirts, right?


teachable moments.

Everyone has heard of teachable moments. Those moments with kids when they say something you can expand on, they react a certian way, you react a certain way, and you take some time to give them a little nugget of wisdom.
My prayer has been that this year God will use me to expand the Kingdom through this position I am in. But how do I do that in a place where I am not supposed to talk about God? A place where it's "winter break" and we don't acknowledge Easter. This is not "don't talk about God" Alabama style where you really do because they're all Christians. I teach in one of the most diverse school districts. There are 40 languages represented. yeah.
The neat thing about God is that He never fails. In the past two weeks there have been so many times where I don't talk about God but the kids talk about it. It's so interesting to hear their child-like faith. They have talked about the Good Samaratin (text-to-text connection that a kid made). They have talked about God creating the earth (sharing writing journal).
I am more encouraged every day that the good work that He has started will be complete. After all, that is all that I have, right?


back to school...

School has started and is in full swing already! For those who don't know, I am teaching 2nd grade this year. I am so excited about it and love my class. I have never been more exhausted in my life though. Man, 18 seven yr olds can wear you out!
I am so excited about how the Lord is going to use me in this way. I know that I can have such a huge impact on these sweet children. The only hard part is the "you can't talk about God in school" thing. My prayer is just that the Lord will use me, I don't know how, but I know He will.


DMV...enough said.

Well I have had a very exciting couple of days with my new friends at the McKinney DMV.
It all started on July 2  (my birthday, in case you don't remember, but of course you do), when my Alabama driver's license expired. My thoughts were, "no big deal, we're in Hawaii, I'll get it fixed when I get back". I  was waaaaay wrong. Fast foward, Wednesday, after FOUR HOURS of waiting in line in 105 degree weather, I am taking my permit test. Yes, the written test you take when you're 15. awesome.
There weren't any spots to take my road test, (yep, that too), so I had to come back on Thursday. So I show up Thursday morning and wait to the huge line to get my appointment at 2:15. I can do that, go work in my classroom for a bit, then come back then, right?
Well, I show up at 2:15 and pull into the driveway to wait on someone to issue the test. Ps. I drove there illegally, woops. The lady comes over to me and all-of-the-sudden my window won't roll down because...wait for it...my car is DEAD in the driveway for the test at the DMV with cars behind me. Poor 16 year olds scared out of their minds.
Hours later, after AAA and David, I am now a proud legal driver in the state of Texas.


goodbye, july.

we are finally home! there's nothing like being home after being on the road for 2 months. we tallied that we have been in dallas for a total of one week all summer.
we were in dothan for 10 days, visiting family and friends.
David with Kason. amy and paul cochrane's precious boy.

I played golf for the first time. ever. (step-dad, mom, brother)

 made pepper-jelly with mom

got to hang out with lane
and celebrated one year, cutting our wedding cake. it was gross.

we have had an exciting summer but are so ready to settle down.


love in the air.

yesterday i got a very exciting text from my sweet friend, kristen arnold.what else could me break into full giggly-scream in the middle of a crowded house? engagement!
matt proposed to kristen at disney world near cinderella's castle. so perfect for her.
just wanted to share the joy.
here's the cute couple:

speaking of weddings...
shout out to my friend meagan gibson who is now working with oncewed.com, such a cool wedding website.


home at last.

we are home from maui! i can't believe we left on friday! we have been so busy since we've been home. when we left for maui, we had just moved into our new apt so it was not organized and crazy. we have spent these last couple of days doing fun things like making a pot hanger out of an old window, making a desk, etc. busy, busy. we have also been reunited with our dallas friends, which is really great.
we are off again to go to dothan to see our families! we're very excited to see them! we haven't been home (dothan) since christmas. amy (my bff since kindergarten) had her first baby! little kason cochrane is a month old and i cannot wait to see him!
fun fact: david and i went to ikea for the first time the other day and love it! i mean, you can only go if you have like 3 hours to spare. but, we happen to have the time.
another thing: the surprise that i wrote about on the last blog was going to be david getting a sweet tattoo but it fell through. i'm serious, he had an appointment and everything but the guy had to change times and we were leaving maui. shocking.
til next time...


is it over?

hello friends.
our sweet one month get-away to the most beautiful place on earth is coming to a close. we're supposed to leave on friday. i can't believe it's here...we just got here! i am so thankful for this opportunity to be here. david and i have had the best tie just hanging out and exploring this beautiful island.
but, we're going to have a big finish. it's a surprise that will be revealed later.
our computer isn;t working and i have to put pictures on jenny's computer to upload them so you'll have to wait for more pictures until we get home.
until next time...



On wednesday, the whole gang (david, jenny, jessie, and i) went on the road to hana, which is a famous drive on maui. it's pretty fantastic but the best part was this hike that we stopped and did. i was really struggling (the acl surgury is still healing), but it was totally worth it. we hiked in 2 miles to the most amazing, stunning thing i think i have ever seen. hello, 400 ft waterfall.
my sweet, sweet husband carried me down the hike. he's awesome.
*pictures will come later. it's not working right now.



On a more personal note, I am continuing to read in Hebrews and I am in awe of our Savior. The book of Hebrews is written to church that is starting to drift away from the truth of Jesus. The author of this book is writing to remind them and wake them up.
 He tells them, “We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” (Heb, 2:1)
 When you don’t pay attention, don’t root yourself in the Lord and the Word of God, that’s when you drift. My favorite part is when he gets into talking about Jesus as our High Priest. In the old days, the High Priest would have to offer a bull or animal to go into the Holy place. He then took on the sins of the people and bring them into the tabernacle to God. But, we have a God who is far greater than we are. Jesus came and offered Himself and split His own blood as the final blood sacrifice. 
“How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the Living God!” (Heb. 9:14)

I love how the Lord loves us.

this week.

These last couple of days David and I have been really busy. We had a moment when we realized we leave next week, so we have to get busy. There are things we still have to see!
Saturday, thanks to our awesome, new friend, Jeff, we went on a sunset cruise. For free. It was great. I mean, who can pass up a free, romantic dinner? Not us. In the winter, humpback whales migrate to Maui. I have decided that we definitely have to come back then. Whales are fascinating. They’re so big! I need to see one before I die.


Sunday, we went to jenny’s church here, Hope Chapel. It’s a neat church. Great teaching and great people. It does make us really miss Watermark (our church in Dallas) and our friends.

Yesterday, we drove to Iao Valley. It looks like a mountain that has had streams run through it to create slits all over it. Of course, pictures don’t do any of these places justice. It was a breath-taking place. All you can do is look at it and say “wow”. That’s what we did. 





hi loyal blog followers..
yesterday david, jenny, and i went and saw the sun RISE on top of mt. haleakala. it is a dormant volcano on the island and beautiful. i have never experienced anything like watching the sun rise at 10,000 ft. we were on top of the clouds. talk about reflecting on the power of our creator. the Lord is so amazing and He is as faithful as the sun will rise. He commands it to rise every morning, and in all it's splendor and greatness, He still loves us more. wow.



after the breath-taking morning, we went to a lavender farm. i loved it and david actually thought it was ok too. the smell as you're getting close to it just overwhelms you and makes you want to just close your eyes. it is in upcountry so the weather is really cool. the view overlooks the island and is just beautiful.


my favorite plant there. so neat,

until next time...
ps. my bday is next week so feel free to send gifts. :)


maui film festival.

 last night, the gang here went to the maui film festival. it was a really cool experience. a ton of people came and brought blankets and chairs and sat under the beautiful maui stars to watch a movie. the movie we watched was called "boy". think "napoleon dynamite" meets "slumdog millionaire". pretty hilarious though.
i would have taken pictures, but cameras were not allowed.mffw_films_events.php.gif 

Here are some photos they took...

On another note, my mom recently took a trip to Panama City Beach, FL and was there when oil started to wash up on the shore. PCB and Destin were big parts of both (david and i) of our childhoods. Sad days.
Until next time...