Yesterday, on the holiday famed for love and chocolate and mushy stuff, George did the sweetest thing he could have done for his stubborn, spoiled wife. He forced me into a car and took me to one of my least favorite places in the world….the VA hospital. I had surgery on February 7th to remove my cancer-ridden uterus and yesterday I was running a fever and feeling like poop. I ended up getting poked and prodded and sent home with antibiotics for an infection, so I guess I forgive him. He also gave me diamond earrings when we got home from the hospital, which didn’t hurt anything…….

Many people have asked me how George and I are still so in love. After almost ten years, he still has the ability to give me butterflies and we exchange hugs and kisses and slow dance in our kitchen often enough to make our children gag on occasion.Those closest to George and I know that we have also had moments where one of us has deeply hurt the other, but we always reach out to find each other and work through it. That is the gift of marriage that God gave us. The bible says that a man should love his wife as Christ love the church, and a woman should follow and submit to her husband as the church submits to Christ. I felt the feminist hairs on my arms prick up as I typed that. I have a few, and perhaps you do, too. So, let me reassure you that I am not talking about male domination and have never been a fan of the idea that women should be seen and not heard or that a man is the boss and a wife is his servant. 

While it is easy to get that idea when words like follow and submit are used, you must think of the comparison and context in which God intended those words to be read. We are not talking about your average Joe Shmo on an ego trip, reveling in the fact that his wife must submit to his every whim. First, may I say that Jesus had a feminist streak himself. Don’t believe me? In a time, and culture, when women were always regarded as lower class citizens and expected to wait on the men in their lives, Jesus spent a day talking and laughing and teaching some of his closest friends and disciples. Among this crowd were two sisters, in whose home this gathering was taking place. One of the sisters was running around like that beheaded fowl so many of us women have the habit of embodying while she tried to make sure everyone was fed and taken care of, while the other spent time with Jesus and the other men, learning and talking. The busy, overwhelmed sister was starting to feel pretty resentful towards her sister and she interrupted the visiting and teaching to ask Jesus to tell her sister to help her. Do you remember Jesus’ response? “Martha, Martha (the headless chicken), you are worried and troubled about many things. But, one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42). Another time when a woman had been caught in the act of cheating on her husband, she was dragged outside of the city by the religious leaders that (I assume) her husband had turned her over to. Jesus was there where they planned on stoning this woman and when asked if he agreed with the law and thought the woman should be stoned, Jesus casually responded that whichever man in the crowd had never sinned should throw the first stone. Starting with the oldest man who had been ready to kill this woman for her betrayal to a fellow man, the men in the crowd set down their stones and walked away. Jesus didn’t judge her either, but sent her on her way (John 8:1-11). So, firstly, Christ doesn’t view women as lower class citizens. Secondly, I consider myself one of the luckiest women on earth to have a husband who tries to love me as much as Christ loves the church. Christ loves his church so much that even before the inhabitants of his church chose to be his people, he took their every mistake they had ever or would ever commit and took their place in God’s eyes. He who really was without sin, allowed himself to be lifted on the cross and killed in the place of his church.

I would like to take this moment to throw out the disclaimer that I am not under any insane impression that George is perfect. I live with the man, remember?? What he does very well though is love me unconditionally and offer forgiveness and grace when I mess up. I will be the first person to admit that I have messed up quite a few times in the past ten years. Two of the infractions I have been guilty of against my husband took me longer to forgive myself than it took George to wrap me in his arms and tell me he still loved me. That is how he tries to love me like Christ loves His church. When he looks at me, he sees me. Not an accumulation of my right and wrong choices, not a comparison of what I have given him versus what he has given me. Just me. The beautiful, talented, silly, incredibly frustrating, sexy, funny, infuriating being that he chose to spend his life with. Having never met anyone else in my life who has loved me with that type of undying, unrelenting, unselfish love before George, I still question the reality of it and have even tested the strength and boundaries of this love on a couple occasions. There is a country song that says no one will love you as much as I do except your mama and Jesus. I never felt that kind of love from either of my parental units (but that is another blog post altogether), or in my first marriage (obviously). I had a loose perception of what Jesus’ sacrifice and God’s love for me was like, but I did not fully grasp the complexity and the depth of it until George loved me.
Now, submitting to someone who at times seems to love you more than you love yourself doesn’t sound too bad, right? Am I a perfect wife? Not even close. But, I do respect the hell out of my husband. The times I have hurt and disappointed him have broken my heart more than the times that he has hurt or disappointed me. I look to him for advice and respect his opinions because he has shown me time and again that he has my best interest at heart. A big difference between being Christ’s church and being a wife is that Christ will never mess up, disappoint or hurt you. He will also never need your grace or forgiveness or your compassion. But, it feels so good to be able to give back as a wife. When my George came back from Afghanistan, almost all of the wives belonging to the men in his unit cut their losses and called it quits. Living with a combat veteran is no picnic, let me tell you. But, part of being “under” my husband in our family means providing the support and care he needs that men are so often too stubborn or proud to admit they need. In the kind of marriage God intended to be a gift to us, my position “beneath” George makes me the only person in the world who sees the soft underbelly his tough exterior hides from the world. It puts me in the unique position of power in his life. I know his most vulnerable places, and as such I have the ability to take him down faster and harder than anyone in a position “above” him in this life. I also love him enough that he can trust me with that knowledge.  

Too many times in a marriage the positions that God intended to provide the most satisfying and deepest love and trust in life are instead used as weapons against our other half. In light of the holiday that came and went yesterday, I just wanted to share that I never knew love the way God intended it to be until I met my George. As we go through this crazy life together, I realize more and more what a gift we have been given in marriage. In the ability to know EVERYTHING about someone and still love them. The joyous knowledge that someone knows the very worst thing about you, and even if some of your worst choices have been some of their most heart-wrenching moments, or vice versa, somehow, through the hurt and the anger and the brokenness, you realize the only thing that can heal you is to rebuild it with the very person who caused it. That ability to reach out and find each other in the darkest moments and make the decision to fix it together, that is the kind of love that deserves to be celebrated on Valentine’s Day, and at every other opportunity.


Oops…..I did it again. 

Don’t be deceived by my title. I have not regained the abs of my youth and started dancing around in pigtails in true Brittany style. I have, however, once more filled my plate to the extent that things could start spilling off the edge at any moment. It is one of those days that most moms know well. If I can pull off everything on my to do list today, I should seriously consider starting a life coaching service that teaches people how to cram way too much sh*t on any 24 hour schedule. 

Today, I have breakfast with some other moms. This is not the kind of mom circle one can afford to be uninvited from. These are the cool moms. The bad ass kind who will do a shot with you on a bad day or hunt down a teenage boy with you who made your teen cry. All while looking stylish and classy. 
Directly after comes a dermatology appointment because god forbid that my skin get the memo that the laugh lines around my eyes are a clear indication that I am too old to have an acne breakout on my chin. While eating breakfast and waiting at dermatology (goodness knows doctors are never on time), I will be emailing back donors for the silent auction that I have volunteered for at my children’s school. The items are due at 5 pm today (did I mention I am the queen of procrastination?). 

I also have a freelance writing job that I am working on this week. I am only halfway finished with the annotated bibliography that is due in my six PM class tonight. 

Oh, and Cara and Alex come back from their week long visit with their other parents in Georgia today. I need to pick them up from the airport after I pick Sammi up from kindergarten this afternoon. 

Pray for me. Oh, and do any of you other super moms have a cape I can borrow? I haven’t done the laundry yet……

Peace, love and bacon grease, fellow Super Moms!!!

Snap judgments and no time to spare….

Hello. ☺️

I am writing this post in between looking up references for a research paper I have to turn in this week. Tomorrow, actually. Crap.

I wanted to say something to the people who read my blog. Partially because I haven’t written in a week and don’t want anyone thinking I ran off with that moscato and chocolate cake, and partially because I need to say something to all the moms……so here goes.

Stop being so damn judgmental of other moms. 


There. I said it. Looking at a small piece of a mom’s day and making a snap judgement about what kind of parent she is, it’s just wrong. You can’t see the whole puzzle if you only have one piece.

You wanna know what kind of mom I am? I am the kind of mom who spends hours on Mondays driving each of her kids around to different activities after I spent the day grocery shopping, cleaning and/or doing homework because I am also a full time student. That being said, I am also the mom that at 8 pm – when I am finally leaving my teenager’s basketball practice with two other grumpy, tired kids who still have homework, showers and dinner to think about with bedtime a mere 30 minutes away – can be heard across the parking lot yelling at my kids to get in the car and stop bickering. I am the kind of mom who throws her teenager’s cell phone out the window when that teenager is blatantly disrespectful. And who corrects my children in public for having bad manners or a case of the “gimmies”. I am also the kind of mom who bakes cookies, reads to her kids every night (even if two of the kids think they are “too old”), has random dance parties to a mixture of 80s hits and current pop with all of her kids, and listens to hours of piano playing and minecraft explanations and pretend stories straight out of a four-year-olds imagination.

Did I mention that my husband’s job has him out of town from Monday morning until Thursday night two weeks out of the month?  Or that, as a combat veteran with PTSD, there are times he is home that he just can’t deal and will disappear into the garage to make me a beautiful piece of wooden furniture as a way of apologizing for not being able to help? Or, how about the fact that I have anxiety from things in my past including an occurrence of MST (military sexual trauma) while I was a soldier?

My point is, every mom has those parenting moments. And, every mom has stuff they are dealing with that you know nothing about. So, if you hear another mom yelling at her kids, don’t assume it is the status quo in their home. If you look out your kitchen window and see your neighbor arguing with their teenager, don’t assume the kid is an unruly brat and that the parents are failing.

If you yourself are dragging your screaming four year old out of Target because she wanted a toy and all you bought was dog food, I promise not to judge you or your four year old, but to instead offer a kind smile.

The world could use more kind smiles and less snap judgments

When playing with a four year old….

Just in case you were wondering….teens aren’t the only kids who make you feel like downing a bottle of moscato and some chocolate cake while contemplating how and when to run away from home. I think kids of all ages are capable of this. I am also a firm believer that my three kids take turns trying to make me run away. I am almost convinced they have a running bet on who will succeed. Today was Sammi’s turn…..

Sammi and I just got finished coloring together, and I think I am about as intelligent as a box of rocks in her eyes. I couldn’t do anything right! Apparently, each marker in her box has a specific home that it needs to be returned to. Just putting the markers all willie-nillie back in there earned me a mean glare, and then she said in her sweetest voice, “That’s ok, mommy…..everybody makes mistakes sometimes.” Also, there is a very specific pink that is ok to use when coloring in hearts. Did you know that? Any other pink simply will not do, so don’t try it. Using the wrong pink elicited an exasperated “Haven’t you ever colored hearts before?!? Let’s just color a different picture. How about ponies?”

I agree to this (maybe I just enjoy being verbally abused……), so she gets the My Little Pony coloring book. She instructs me to color Scootaloo. I have no idea who that is, and I thought I knew my ponies. I played with ponies 30 years ago, Cara played with them 10 years ago, and Sammi has been playing ponies for almost a year now. I ask her which one that is and what color to make her. She then said, “I think I will just go play with Alex. You aren’t very good at coloring.”

So, here I am with my moscato, cooking dinner and wishing I had some chocolate cake…..

Just Breathe - 8x10