brother time.

last week, my brother lane came to visit. he had to take the mcat out here so he just hung out with us for a couple of days. it was really fun to have him here in h-town. 

just a fine young man. 


hello, again.

hi friends. so i've been a tad busy lately and haven't had time to blog. so sorry.
this will be a catch-up post.
recently we ...

well I started my new job. i am teaching first grade, which has been really fun. 
this is my classroom.

ps. their chairs are on top of their desks... 

we got some sa-weet tickets to an astros game. these are our new buds jessica & will. they're pretty awesome and invited us on this adventure. someone gave them (thanks, younglife) their "diamond club" tickets. little did we know that we got to sit right behind homeplate, get all of the nicest-ballpark-food-i've-ever-eaten we could want, and there was a waiter. insane. it was so much fun though.

we went on a little trip to austin to see these beauties get married.

and sully got a haircut. he looks really funny.

whew. promise i'll be better.
love to all of you.


sweet new ride.

hi friends!

we have been sharing a car for the past month but last week i got a NEW car! woo hoo!
i've never had a brand new car before so it's pretty much the greatest ever.

it's a hyundai tuscon and i love it!


the Lord PROVIDES.

i am so thankful that i am able to write this post. 
last weekend, i got a JOB. teaching first grade, to be exact. 
let me tell you the story so the Lord gets the glory, not me.

as most of you know, this is one of the worst education markets in history. teachers are being laid off left and right and there are certainly no open jobs. realizing this, i had come to grips that i would probably apply at anthro and try something new. i was really excited about it. i hadn't looked for open teaching positions all summer. 

two weeks ago, david and i were doing an event at our apartment and i was chatting with a new friend. this new friend was looking for a teaching job (which i has completely given up on) also. she mentioned that some jobs just opened in katy (a great district in the area). these were the only jobs open in houston. of course i didn't know because i hadn't looked in forever. (reason one this job was Him and not me- i had dropped the ball)
i went to deliver resumes and was so discouraged. having to just leave several resumes in baskets, i assumed i wouldn't be able to be set apart. later that day i got several phone calls to interview. exciting, except they were all during the time i was flying to atlanta. ugh.
one principal decided to meet me early on thursday before my flight. (reason number two) one was all it took. even though i only met with the principal and no teachers (which is weird in a teacher interview), they decided to hire me! i'll be teaching first grade next year!

this is my miracle job. i am so pumped!
the Lord made this happen and i am thankful that His plans are better than my own.



most of you know that i drove a montero sport. never heard of them? it's fine.
i've had the ole' montero since i was 16.
well, it's been the time for out with the old and in with the new. 
friday we sold it! we've never sold or bought anything significant (like a car) as a couple yet. it was kind of scary but ended up being so easy.

they just wrote us a check. boom.

hopefully i'll be posting my new car pictures soon!


new places and new faces.

hi friends.

we painted our apartment last week so i can now put up some pictures for our mommas.

this is our view out of the bedroom. downtown houston.

sully stays in this spot all day watching the comings and goings of people.

and that, my friends, is our new place. come visit!



hello friends.

i missed you. we haven't had internet until yesterday so here is a re-cap of our little life.

* i chopped my hair off. i'm noticing that i do that during life changes. i did the same thing when we moved to dallas.
* a man named goliath installed our cable. wait a second...david & goliath. yep.
* we moved into our new apartment in houston. it's pretty sweet.
* friday night lights ended and we are devastated.

i'll post some pictures soon.
to our dallas friends, we miss y'all. a WHOLE lot.

if you know anyone cool in houston, let us know, we're in the market for some friends.


this week.


we said goodbye to frontier ranch and west plano younglife...

a very sad day.
we're sad but also excited about what the Lord has in store in houston.

now, back to packing. so much to do!


frontier ranch.

we are leaving tonight for frontier ranch!
frontier is a younglife camp in beautiful colorado. as you think about us, as you often do we know, please pray.
pray for safety and that we all experience the Lord in a new way.

love you all.


beach day.

one of things that i miss most about dothan (besides family of course) is being so close to the beach.
growing up,we took day trips to the beach all of the time. it was not uncommon to drive down to the beach for the day once a week in the summer.
i miss that so much. 

we got to drive down yesterday with our moms and it was heavenly.
and we are very burnt.


dad life.

happy father's day.


road trip.

david and i will be taking a pretty lengthy road trip on sunday. dallas to dothan. 13 hours. with our puppy. oh boy.

i have been watching cmt non-stop to prepare for being home. there's just something so homey about country music. it makes me think of being a teenager and riding around with my windows down.



this past sunday, one of our pastors talked about having wise council. surrounding yourself with a group of people that are on the same page as you, and love the lord is invaluable. i don't think i realized how much richer it makes life until we had a group of people that we would consider our "wise council". 

Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. 
{proverbs 11:14}

Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others 
{proverbs 12:15}

so go round up some friends that care about you and stop trying to do life on your own...



if you haven't seen this video, do yourself a favor and watch it. all of it. 
highlight of my day.

and don't read the comments. people are so stupid when they leave nasty comments.


book time.

summer means time for reading good books by the pool. there's are not many things better than that.
my list for summer reading includes:

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Bossypants by Tina Fey
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

any other suggestions?
i'm open. leave a comment.


bitter goodbyes.

today i had to say goodbye to one of the sweetest little  guys i've ever known. 
i had the honor to teach him last year. he just has this spirit about him that draws everyone to him and you can't help but love him. he is hands down the most popular kid at school.

a few things to know:
* he loves pokemon. a whole lot.
* he's moving onto middle school next year.
* he loves giving hugs. 
* you'll never meet anyone with a kinder heart.

i love him and will miss him probably more than anyone.


friends are cool.

some of our sweet friends from auburn came through dallas on their journey to denver. 
meet chris. he was on david's younglife team in auburn and one of his best buddies.
we love him.

chris also has a sister, jenna. she is moving to denver to work at a homeless shelter and ya know, make the world a better place. 

we had a little bbq with our community group. i cannot even begin to explain how much we'll miss these peeps.
(left to right: jackie, me, sallie, ashley, emily, and emily's baby cohen)

(left to right: hector, cory, david, tyler, and maggie- sallie & tyler's)


good news.

"the good news for those who enjoy God's being God is that He enjoys them. He delights in those who hope in His immeasurable power." 

psalm 147:10-11
His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor His pleasure in the legs of a man;
but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him,
in those who hope in His steadfast love.

there are so many times when we just have to rest in the fact that God is God and we are not. that brings me great joy and should take a huge burden off knowing that we don't have to know it all or understand Him completely. He's God. we're not.


days off.

i am sitting in a starbucks at 10 am...on a school day. something feels so rebellious about being gone from school on a weekday. i love it.

we are in houston for an apartment life interview. apartment life is a program for apartment communities. "cares" teams live in an apt complex and plan events for the residents to engage with each other. the purpose of the team is to build a community within a complex.

so we're interviewing to do it in houston and hoping that the Lord will orchestrate where we should go. we know that he will. 

wish us luck. 


then and now.

then. (4 weeks ago)


can't believe how much he's grown. 

i am obsessed over sully. i am worried what a baby might be like. yikes.



12 days til pool time. sleeping in. wearing no makeup because it sweats off too fast. rompers. nights on a patio. road trips with my man. movie marathons.

 i can do it!


dance your shoes off.

i just saw this video for the first time this morning. it will make your heart sing.

i don't know how to make it bigger. sorry. i am a teacher. this is not my strong point.

the video was done by second baptist church in houston (woop!). we visited this church and it has a lot of potential to become a church home for us. there are 25,000 people that go there. 25,000. for us alabama folk, that's a lot.



i'd just like to say that i am very thankful for these women:
( i know david is too)

we have pretty awesome grandmas too. 
love you ALL very much.



the endorphin high after a work out is the greatest. why can't i remember that when i am whining on my couch about going? 
exercise = feel better. wish that would lock in my brain.

that's all.


houston, we have lift-off.

hi friends,
most of y'all know this but, we're moving to houston!
it is such a weird thing- knowing you're moving but it not actually being here yet. all we know if what we're leaving right now. but we do know that the Lord has put it on our hearts and provided for us.

the things that we're called to do aren't always easy. most of the time, the best things in the end are the hardest at the beginning. we love dallas. so much. but we know that the Lord is good and wouldn't send us if there weren't a plan and purpose.

we (I) were getting discouraged about some things: where are we going to live? am i going to get a job (in the worst education budget crisis ever)? will we find a good church? so many questions...

this past weekend we went to houston and i am still amazed at how the Lord orchestrates things. He gave us the boost that we desperately needed to be excited.
it's like every time that the Lord comes through, i'm surprised. i'm shocked then at how little faith i had. i am so thankful that the Lord pours His grace and blessings out on us so undeservingly.

"let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful."


fam jam.

last weekend, my grandma and dad came to dallas. it was wonderful.

she made apple dumplings. delish.
my grandma is the greatest shopper out there. she could run circles around me.

these lovely longhorn statues are everywhere around our apt complex. texas, what did you expect?

and here's one for kicks. 



well friends, our lives have changed forever. we went to arkansas (which is very far away) and picked up our new little peanut.
he is a 9 week old wheaten terrier and precious. his name is sullivan/"sully". we're convinced he's the greatest dog ever.

we had to drive 4 hours home and did great! last night was pretty hard because he missed his mommy. i mean, i'm pretty sure i cried when i left my mom for the first time. it doesn't take away from his sweetness.

we love him. a lot.

* more solo shots and pics with david to come.



hello all.
this past weekend, david ran a half-marathon. i am so proud of him! he finished in just over 2 hours.
he ran for TWO HOURS! 13.1 miles. i am definitely one impressed wifey. he's awesome.


ladies, it's ok if you need to look away.
about to cross the finish line.

3 of our other friends in community group ran.

after the race (with baby maggie)

i can feel you judging me...why didn't i run? someone had to babysit. and i am working my way up running. just really started back in january-ish because of the acl surgery last spring. get off my back, people. 


moving on.

today i was over at one of my favorite blogs (check it out here, they go to our church and i desperately wish i knew them) and they asked their readers to post where they were in school if they were in college. so, of course i scrolled down to see if we had auburn and AOII reppin'. 
there it was: AOII at auburn. the thing about it is that i have NO CLUE who this person is!

big reality check:
auburn has moved on. AOII has moved on.(she looked pretty legit though) i guess i tend to think that i will always know what is going on in that beloved town and in my sorority. nope. 


sick nasty..

so david and i are younglife leaders in ole' plano texas.
if you don't know much about younglife, it's pretty crazy. but we share Jesus with high schoolers. one of the platforms that younglife uses is through doing insane things. insane. doing crazy stuff brings kids to younglife club and there they here about our Savior.

well...last night was not abnormal. it was "hillybilly yacht club". 
let me get to the point...

i was in a cricket-spitting contest. i put a live cricket in my mouth and spit it out. (pretty far i might add)

you're welcome for the laughs. 


magic time machine.

hi friends.

last night david and i went out to celebrate our friend's birthday. (shout out cameron!) it was a surprise and a lot of fun.
well the place they picked for his party is called the magic time machine. it's every bit as magical as it's name sounds. 
all of the wait staff are in a character. we had princess leia...from star wars, complete with costume. woody had the table next to us. the mad hatter was there, with alice. cinderella, snow white, g.i. joe guy, all kinds of characters. 
it was every 6 year olds dream...and the 5,000 preteen girls that were there also.

definitely a special  magical night.



so I am teacher. duh.
I sometimes forget that I have really hilarious conversations with my kids day in and out.
I'm going to try to share more of these because some of you don't get the sheer pleasure of talking to small children often.
a couple that happened, just today.

kid (completely randomly): "Mrs Brannen, would you like to come to India with me this summer?"
me: "well, what would I do?"
kid: "oh, you know, you could play with my grandma."
me: "do you think Mr Brannen would miss me?"
kid: "well he'd come too....to make money."

I got a note this morning from a kid. On the inside she wrote: "you have been working very hard. I am proud of you!"
Thanks for the affirmation.

On our new puppy...
"Do you think you're ready for that responsibility?"
"You know you have to feed it..."



i love change. i love new things. i can get bored very easily.
so...after begging david for a year, we're getting a PUPPY!

we searched high and low, talked with a ton of interesting people (one of whom we're convinced was high as a kite), and finally decided on our pup.

he is a wheaten terrier and he is a wee little baby still. he won't be ready for another month (which is killing me, but wonderful for David- he likes to be prepared for things). 

(this is what he'll look like)
as a pupster:

and as a big guy:


st. patty's

happy st. patricks day, friends!


chill pill.

there are a lot of things going on in our lives these days. i am finding myself have a lot of anxiousness about next year, future plans, etc. i get so caught up sometimes in "what ifs" "hows" and "whys".
why do i let myself go there? has the Lord not proved Himself to me time and again?

i need a good, old fashioned, chill pill. 

this is the scripture that i have been resting in:

"you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure." {psalm 16:5}

another version is: "the Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot"

my lot that i am given in this life is already secure. i can worry all i want to, but will that actually change anything? no. the Lord is the only one who gives and takes. that gives me rest.



i wish that we could go back 2 years and to the most magical spring break. senior year.

in this house.

with these girls.

...and have a tan.


a small request.

last week, in my second grade class, the kids wrote a letter to the President.
this one was my personal favorite: "make a drink where it gives us super power."
i mean, that's totally feasible, right? cool. you should probably get on that Obama.



it's amazing how life sometimes seems to just fly by.
we have been doing all kinds of fun things...

went to cirque de soleil for valentines.

with wonderful friends. it was like nothing i have ever seen. you MUST go.

went back home to dothan, al to see family.

like my brother, lane.

my best friend since kindergarten (amy) who has precious little guy who is 8 months now. (kason is his name)

and our sweet mommas. 

but mostly went home to see this handsome man (my dad) and stunning young lady (grandma).  he recently had a hunting accident and broke 8 ribs (ouch) and his clavicle (double ouch). he is doing great now and on the road to a recovery. in the mean time, he looks like an alien whose arm grows out of his stomach.