Married Life

Two Years of Marriage

Brad and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary last week.

We went to Blue Grotto in Brookside for dinner, then to Starlight Theater to see The Sound of Music. It was a beautiful evening. Eighty degree weather- much different than two years ago. If you were at our wedding, you remember how hot it was.


During dinner, we read the blog post I wrote a year ago for our first anniversary. It was fun to read about all of the things we experienced that first year, and to reminisce about all that we encountered during our second year.

This year was a crazy one. The Lord was so good to us.

One year ago we were about to help plant a church in Springfield. We actually spent our anniversary weekend helping with the church’s vacation bible school! We spent 9 months there before we moved to Kansas City. We got to witness the Lord work in us, the church, and in the community in incredible ways during those months. We miss Freshwater and we pray for them continually. We knew from the beginning that we weren’t there for the long-term, so our motto was 1 Corinthians 3:6 “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” Yes, we helped plant Freshwater Church. Others are watering now and others will in the future. But God is the one who has given the growth.

To find out more about Freshwater Church, go to the website, or read this blog post.


In November Brad ran his first half marathon! We (yep, I’m joining this time) are currently training to run another one this October! I never thought I would be a runner, but now it’s one of my favorite hobbies! I’m really thankful that it is something that Brad and I enjoy doing together.

half marathon!

My very favorite thing that happened to us this year happened in December. We got Libby. We were at Brad’s grandma’s house on Christmas Eve when we announced that she was looking for a new home for Libby. We called our landlord, got the okay, and took her back home with us to Springfield the day after Christmas. She has brought so much joy to our lives and I can’t image our lives without her.


February is when things really started to get crazy. The day after Brad’s 25th birthday, he got in a hit-and-run accident, totaling the car. We were pretty upset. We had the Blueberry for less than a year and we were not expecting to have to buy a new car any time soon. This added to what was already an unclear next few months of our lives. So we decided to wait. Sharing the Jeep was inconvenient, but we managed. Two months later we had the opportunity to buy Brad’s great-uncle’s Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight. Wanna guess how many miles it had on it when we got it? 6,000. Yep. God provided for us in a way that we never expected.

New car!

So in March, we knew that I would be graduating soon and that Brad was going to go to seminary. However, we had no idea where that would be. We’d been praying for months that the Lord would lead us where He willed, but we were still in the dark about what would happen in two months. So we kept praying and waiting. Our tentative plan was for me to start applying for jobs in March in both Louisville, KY, and Kansas City, because Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary were Brad’s top choices for school, respectively. I would work full-time while Brad went to school. We figured that I would support us while he was in school as he had done for me and our goal was to pay for school along the way so that we didn’t have to take out more loans. We were looking at three more long years of watching our pennies, but we were okay with that.

Then out of the blue Brad got a phone call advising him to apply for a job that had just opened up at Midwestern as an admissions counselor (what he was currently doing at SBU). So he applied, we went up to Kansas City for an interview, and he got the job! Whoa. Again, God provided for us a way that we never expected.

Brad started at Midwestern about two weeks later. I stayed in Springfield to finish school until May, then we permanently made the move to KC. (For more about my graduation, read this post) The next item on our agenda was for me to find a job. I assumed that I would be searching for a job for months, but instead the Lord blew away our expectations once again and provided for me a job just one week after my graduation.

Now we live in Kansas City north (by Worlds of Fun for those of you from KC) in an apartment that we love, I work at Viracor-IBT, and Brad is about to start seminary at Midwestern. God clearly brought us to Kansas City. He provided for us in ways that we didn’t even know to ask for.

Kansas CityThe last piece of the puzzle was to find a church. As He usually does, the Lord led us to a church that we did not expect. We’ve decided to join Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Liberty. We are so excited to get involved and to see how God is going to use us and grow us during our time at PV!

A year ago I thought that year two was going to be hard to top, but I was very mistaken. I can’t even begin to image what Brad and I will encounter in year three.

Brad is the best, marriage is wonderful, and God is good.

love love

Lately 07.15.14

I think it’s safe to say we’ve settled into our new life here in KC because my planner is filling up! We’ve had a super busy last couple of weeks and this week is just as packed. There are dishes to be done and laundry to be started, but I’m going to enjoy this beautiful July weather we’re having today and blog on our deck while watching the sunset.

Brad and I went to our first Royals game a couple of weeks ago and we had a blast. It was buck night, perfect weather, and they won! Tbh, it’s been a while since I’ve been at a Royals game when they came away with a W.


Our friend Colton came to town the weekend of Independence Day, so we did a little KC exploring and experienced Oddly Correct Coffee. Coffee in Erlenmeyer flasks. Needless to say, I loved it.


My brother was the starting pitcher in the All Star Game for the league he is playing in, so Brad, my dad, and I road tripped to Junction City, KS, to watch him play! He did a great job and his team won with a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 9th! It was an awesome game to see.


I think I mentioned in a post a while back that I had won a bag from the blog A Beautiful Mess. I finally got it in the mail and I love it! I’m so excited to use it all the time. It’s definitely an upgrade from the backpack I’ve been toting around for the last five years.


I love our deck, patio furniture, and new outdoor rug. Also I love coffee and cereal.


Libby is still as cute as ever. Right now she is mad at me because I put her inside because she kept barking at the other dogs walking by.


This weekend my grandma celebrated her 80th birthday! It was super fun to have (most of) the family together to celebrate! I hope I’m kicking it like her when I’m 80.


This weekend Brad and I went to Theatre in the Park in Shawnee Mission. If you haven’t been, you should. You get to enjoy being outside while seeing a great show, and you can bring food and drinks! It’s definitely a cheaper date night then dinner and a movie, and I actually enjoy it more! We saw “Honk”, which was based on the ugly duckling. Tom Sawyer is playing next, so I think we are going to go! Let us know if you want to join us!


Also this weekend we went to the wedding of one of my good friends from the church I grew up in. It was super fun to get to hang out with old friends! I think you sometimes don’t realize that you miss someone until you see them again after going a long time without.


Last night Brad and I went to the Riot Room to see Penny and Sparrow. If you haven’t heard of them, you should definitely check them out (they’re on Spotify). They are soooooo good and they were even better in person! It was definitely worth the late night.



Kind of a long post, so thanks for sticking around to the end!

I’m hoping to blog soon about how decorating our apartment is going so far!


Libs. Libsy. Pup. Pups. Pup-Pup. Puppy-Puppy. Doge. Cuddle Pup. Bub. Kid. Pupperoni.

These are the nicknames Libby has accrued over the last month that we’ve had her. It’s a wonder she still knows her name is Libby.

I sat down to do a “Lately” post, but when I began looking through the pictures on my phone, I realized that Libby was featured in about 95% of them. So I decided to do a little post about our newest family member!

Brad and Libby have become best buds.


See, best buds.


I get to enjoy sunsets like these on our nightly walks.


We’ve taken a lot of family photos.


And a lot of selfies.


We even taught her how to drive!


Our little pup has been a lot of fun. We’re looking forward to the weather warming up so we can take her on more and longer walks!

Happy 25th Birthday Brad


Today is my husband Brad’s 25th birthday! In honor of him being on the earth for a quarter of a century, I’m sharing 25 things I love about Brad.

1. He loves Jesus.

2. He watches Project Runway with me.

3. We’re the same height and similar size, so we can share clothes.

4. He takes care of our vehicles.

5. He is good at driving in the ice and snow.

6. He pushes the cart at the grocery store.

7. He has a discerning spirit.

8. He never embarrasses me or uses me as a punch line of his joke.

9. He plays the guitar.

10. He goes thrifting with me.

11. He doesn’t make me watch scary movies.

12. He likes hanging out with my family.

13. He loves Harry Potter.

14. He rarely complains.

15. He isn’t picky, so he will eat pretty much anything I cook.

16. He runs with me.

17. He pursues the Lord and His will for our lives.

18. He likes to travel.

19. He has a great family.

20. We laugh a lot.

21. He is a good steward of our finances.

22. He doesn’t play a lot of video games.

23. He’s handsome.

24. He is gentle, never says a hateful word, and refrains from anger.

25. He loves me.

Happy Birthday Brad Bear!! I love you!

Bartlett Christmas Card

Merry Christmas from the Bartletts!

merry christmas

We were considering whether or not to send Christmas cards, because let’s be honest, they’re kind of expensive, and most of the people that we would send Christmas cards to keep up with this blog, so people already know what we’ve been up to for the past year! So instead of sending cards out, we are doing this blog post. Brad will be joining me on this post and he will be writing in italics.

I will be writing in italics.

Okay here we go! (Also I’ll link to any past blogs I refer to if you want to read more.)

That way, she gets more views.

This was our first full year living in Springfield and as a married couple. We traveled, made new friends, tried new things, and helped plant a church.

For spring break, we decided to take a little road trip to Memphis, TN (I did two posts about this trip. You can see them here and here). It was close enough to drive and neither of us had ever been there before.

It ended up being the most expensive trip EVER!

Brad is right. On our way home back into town our car unexpectedly broke down. Zena the ZX2 had seen its last days.

Fortunately, the Lord is good and we found a great new-to-us car. It’s name is The Blueberry, our first big purchase as a married couple.

Except for that ring!

New car!!

This summer, we had the pleasure of being in two weddings. We both did the scripture reading in Matt and Molly’s wedding, and Brad was a groomsman in his friend Tyler’s wedding.

matt and molly


(I just noticed I wore the same dress to both weddings. Haha)

We also went to Silver Dollar City like, a million times. We made sure to ride every roller coaster each time we went, and always ended our day with a funnel cake. How we didn’t throw up each time is beyond me. We went enough times that we got a super cool Christmas tree ornament!

funnel cake


One thing that Brad and I have always enjoyed doing together is running. We spent many evenings running at the wellness center at SBU when we were first dating. A year ago, we did a mile-a-day challenge in which we ran at least one mile every day during the month of December. That month was a great kick-starter into a year of fitness. We ran several 5Ks together this year and after pushing ourselves all summer and into the fall, we both met big goals. Brad ran his first HALF MARATHON!! And in helping him train, I was able to make it to 6 miles! I really appreciate having a husband that pushes me to be fit and healthy! A few years ago, neither of us would have thought that we would be able to run as far as we have.

half marathon!

It felt so great to finally reach such a big milestone! It was tough, but crossing that finish line made it all worth it.

We plan to run a half marathon together sometime in 2014!

This fall, we got to take another little road trip. Brad is an admissions counselor at SBU, so he has to travel to college fairs in his territory for a couple of months in the fall. He happened to have a college fair in Illinois during my fall break, so I got to go with him! This time SBU provided a rental car, so we didn’t have to worry about a repeat of our first road trip this year.

I got the chance to rent several awesome cars, and travel to some more great places throughout the Midwest. This was my longest trip of the season, so Katelyn’s fall break fell at a great time.

On our way home from Illinois, we were able to stay in St. Louis for one night. We went to the City Museum, which was really fun!

I was able to finally conquer some height-fear issues.

Then we were able get together with my old friend Lauren and her husband before we headed back to Springfield. It was a nice getaway. You can read more about the trip here.

city museum

Another huge part of our lives this year has been Freshwater Church.

The past year has been a blur when it comes to Freshwater Church. It seems like only yesterday that myself and a couple of men from Bolivar were sitting in a Panera Bread, dreaming of what a church in northern Springfield would look like. Now we have been meeting for over a year, and have had more than a hundred people enter our doors. It’s been a huge blessing to do life with these people, and in our next (and what will likely be our last) six months we are excited to see what the Lord will do with Freshwater Church Springfield.


My time at MSU is quickly coming to a close as I am about to begin my last semester of grad school. (Read about it here and here.) I’m finishing up my first publication right now and I plan to publish one more time sometime in the spring. My time at MSU has been a huge blessing and I’m so thankful for the people that I’ve met there and what I’ve learned. I’ll be sad to leave when I graduate, but I’m excited to see what is next!

Best of all, I’ve had awesome labmates!


I also got to teach a class of all Chinese students from Qingdao University. It was a huge challenge, but such a blessing to teach them. It was so fun to get to know them and to see them learn over the semester. Getting to teach has been one of my favorite things about grad school. I’d love to get to teach again in the future.

A few more highlights of the year have been having Brad’s sister here in Springfield with us as she goes to MSU, my brother Dylan now plays baseball for Pittsburg State University, we went to our first marriage conference in February, our hometown Kansas City is actually having a great year sports-wise, and we got super obsessed with the TV show Parks and Rec this year.

Brad and I have one more week of work and school, then we are headed to KC for Christmas! We are blessed to get a week and a half break.

From us to you, we want to wish you all a very merry Christmas! May you be blessed to end the year with great memories as well. We can’t wait to see where 2014 takes us, and you can count on us sharing it with you!


Christmas Bags, a family tradition

I love holiday family traditions. I was blessed to grow up in a great community of families. At Christmas time, everyone usually buys presents for their family members, but my family also wanted to show our friends how much we love and appreciate them by giving them bags full of Christmas goodies. This tradition began one year when my family arrived home to find a Christmas popcorn bowl full of treats from my mom’s good friend Carrie. We were so blessed by this surprise that we decided to make it a tradition of our own. Each year we would spend a Saturday in December in the kitchen making breads, cookies, and chocolate covered pretzels. We would buy plain brown paper bags to decorate, then my brother and I would deliver them in person.

There are so many aspects about this Christmas tradition that I love. Your family friends get something to munch on during the Christmas season, we spent quality time together as a family making and filling the bags, and my brother and I got the joy of chatting with our friends and wishing them a Merry Christmas when we dropped off their bags.

As Brad and I began building our own family traditions, I knew that this was one I wanted to continue for not only Brad and me, but also with our children in the future.

Growing up, we had too many family friends to make bags for all of them, so we switched it up every year. Brad and I have adopted this part of the tradition too. It’s so hard to decide who to give them to, but what a great problem to have! We’re so blessed to have such a great community here in Springfield.

We had a blast making and handing out our bags this weekend. This year we are filling our bags with banana bread, white and milk chocolate covered pretzels, candied nuts, and peanut butter Special K bars (my aunt Lori’s specialty).

Pretzels, YUM!

more pretzels!

For the Carringtons

I encourage you to make this a family tradition of your own, or even to try it just this year! There are endless people to bless with Christmas goodies: friends, family, neighbors, pastors, coaches, teachers, babysitters, your mechanic, the pharmacy, your bank, or the baristas at your favorite coffee shop. It’s a great way to spend time as a family and to bless those that are important to you during this season of giving!

35 Christmas Date Ideas

Christmas Date Ideas

My husband and I love Christmas time. I was brainstorming some fun things we could do this holiday season and I thought I’d share some of them! Merry Christmas!

1. Hot chocolate and Christmas movie marathon.

2. Make Christmas ornaments.

3. Bake Christmas cookies for your friends and coworkers.

4. Go to your local Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting.

5. Decorate your Christmas tree together.

6. Memorize the Christmas story together.

7. Talk about your favorite Christmas memories.

8. Go Christmas shopping for your families.

9. Wrap presents together.

10. Go to a local church’s Christmas musical or play.

11. Drive around and look at Christmas lights. (Last year, Brad and I made an “award” for the best Christmas lights in Springfield. Once we decided on the house with our favorite lights, we left it at the house for the owners to find!)

12. Buy ugly Christmas sweaters from a thrift store.

13. Go on a nighttime walk in the park (ideally in the snow).

14. Drive through your local Christmas lights display.

15. Make home-made gifts instead of buying this year.

16. Volunteer at a local food pantry or soup kitchen. (The Springfield Salvation Army is looking for volunteers this season!)

17. Make paper snowflakes.

18. Go to your local symphony or ballet.

19. Learn to play and sing your favorite Christmas songs.

20. Make a list of Christmas traditions for your family.

21. Make a gingerbread house.

22. Watch the Christmas episodes of all your favorite shows.

23. Go ice skating.

24. Go to a local Christmas Parade of Homes. (Midtown Springfield is having a home tour the first weekend of December!)

25. Chop down your own Christmas tree at a local Christmas tree farm.

26. Write a Christmas card letter about the past year to send your extended family.

27. Decorate sugar cookies.

28. Visit a live nativity.

29. Make home-made Christmas cards.

30. Have a “summer in December” date and go swimming at an indoor pool.

31. Run a holiday 5K. (Like the Turkey Trot or Silver Dollar City’s Race to the Lights.)

32. Watch old Christmas movies like It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, and White Christmas.

33. Go to a local Christmas pageant or play.

34. Go to a Christmas parade.

35. Go Christmas caroling at a nursing home.

Look for Christmas events going on in your town! Christmas only comes once a year, so enjoy it!

Lately (10.12.13) + Fall Break Roadtrip

It has been a quite a while since I blogged last. Since my past post a lot has happened!

Fall is officially here. My little brother turned 21 (whaaaaat?????). My mom also had a birthday. My parents had their 29th wedding anniversary. My roommate from college got married. Brad traveled all over Arkansas and Oklahoma for college fairs. I accomplished a fitness goal of running 6 miles. I finished an afghan and started a new one. And Brad and I went to the Quad Cities and St. Louis this weekend.

A couple months back we realized that Brad had a college fair up in Illinois during my fall break. Grad students often don’t take fall break, but I decided that I really needed a few days off since I didn’t take any time off all summer. Brad’s boss approved that I come along as long as I helped with the fair, which I did happily.

On Thursday we made the 7-hour trip up to Rock Island, IL, for the college fair that evening. SBU has switched to using rental cars instead of mileage reimbursement, so we got to drive a brand new Kia Optima hybrid! It was much nicer than our Jeep or Aveo. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a new car! Plus, we drove all the way there and back only having to fill it up once!



Brad has told me about travel season, but it was really fun to see him in action! It was neat to talk to young high school students excited about going to college and following their passions. It seems like a long time ago that I was in their position, but then again it feels like only yesterday.


The next morning we ate at a cute local place called Ganson’s. It’s in a house and we got to sit outside on the porch. It was beautiful fall weather and the food was delicious. I definitely recommend it if you are in the Quad Cities area! After brunch we hit up another local place for coffee called Cool Beanz, which was really cool. There seemed to be a lot of neat local places. We wished we had more time to explore! But alas, it was time to make our way through hours of corn fields to get back to Missouri.




Next we braved Cardinal country and stayed in St. Louis on Friday night. Brad accumulated enough points during travel season that he got a free nights stay at a Holiday Inn (yay for free! and yay for hotel rooms with balconies!)! We only had one evening in St. Louis, so we decided to go to the City Museum. I had never been, but had heard a lot about it. We had so much fun! Unfortunately, it was evening when we went, so most of our pictures are dark and fuzzy.









This morning we slept in, then met my friends Lauren and Justin Hitchens for lunch. Lauren and I grew up together at FBC Raymore and our parents are good friends. I was in their wedding almost a year ago, and they moved to St. Louis after they got married, so I hadn’t seen them in a long time. It was so great to see their place and get to catch up! I’m really thankful for their friendship. I was too busy enjoying time with friends to take any pictures. Sometimes its better that way.

Now I’m sitting on the couch while Brad practices for worship in the morning, our Saturday evening ritual. After spending the last two weeks teaching the kids class, I’m excited to get to worship with our church family in the morning!

ALSO! Tomorrow is my best friend Casie’s birthday!!! Casie is hands-down the coolest girl on the planet. If you see her tomorrow, give her a big hug for me! Casie, I wish I could celebrate your birthday with you! I hope you have the most fabulous birthday ever!!!! I love you!!


2013 Summer Highlights

School officially starts back up again tomorrow, and although I didn’t get a summer break from grad school, it’s still fun to reflect back on the summer and all the fun that was had. Here are some of my favorite things I did this summer.


We started our summer off right with Matt and Molly’s wedding. I love weddings and it was so fun to see such great people be joined as one. We miss them, but are so glad they are enjoying Memphis. They have a blog too! Check out Everything M.


We went to the Springfield Roller Derby with our friends Jordan and Sarah. That was definitely an experience I won’t forget. It’s a little pricey, but definitely fun if you get the chance to go to a match!


I went to Maranatha Bible Camp with Freshwater Kids in June. I loved going to camp growing up, so it was really fun to get to experience it again. It was only a long weekend instead of a whole week, but it was really nice to take some time away from working in the lab and from the internet. We were lucky to have really beautiful weather and really great kids!


Brad and I got free tickets to see the Springfield Lazers tennis team, which includes Andy Roddick! We got the free tickets right before the match started, so it was a really fun, cheap, unexpected date night! It also inspired us to buy some tennis rackets. Neither of us have ever played, so we’re pretty bad, but we have fun and that’s what counts.


We don’t have cable, but that hasn’t stopped us from getting obsessed over a few shows. Lately we’ve been hooked on Project Runway, Parks and Rec, and Friends.


We’ve taken advantage of our Silver Dollar City season passes a lot this summer. The new ride, Outlaw Run, is super fun. (Especially at night in the front row!) We’re looking forward to going with my parents in a few weeks. My dad used to work there! He was the train robber!!


We began our summer with a wedding and ended it with a wedding. It had called for rain that day, but it held off and it was a beautiful evening for Tyler and Kristy.


This weekend was Welcome Week for the incoming freshman at SBU. As an admissions counselor, this is what Brad has been working for all year. I’m so proud that he surpassed his enrollment goal! Now it’s time to start working on next year :)

This morning Brad helped lead worship for the one time a year SBU has a church service on Sunday morning. It was really fun to see many of the students I was a leader for at Welcome Week being leaders this year. I’m so thankful for my time at SBU, especially after spending a year at MSU. I was a little emotional thinking about all I went through at SBU and seeing all the new students full of dreams, hopes, anxieties, expectations, and goals. I’m praying that God does amazing things in their lives these next 4 (or 5) years.

This was my first summer with no vacation and virtually no tan, but overall it was still a great summer. As much as a love summer, I’m really excited for fall! Bring on the pumpkin spice lattes!!

One Year of Marriage

Brad and I have been married for one year. It is 70 degrees and cloudy today. It was 108 and sunny on our wedding day a year ago. I was one sweaty bride, but it was still the perfect day. I got to marry my best friend while surrounded by the people most important to me. Here are a few thoughts about our life this past year and what is to come.

I had always heard people say that the first year of marriage is so difficult and learning to live with that person can be really challenging, but I have to admit I don’t really feel that way about our first year. Living with Brad has been surprisingly easy. Of course he does things that drives me crazy (like leaving a damp towel on the bed) (and buying the wrong type of hamburger), but I can deal with those things. We’ve grown closer and learned a lot about each other, and have had a blast along the way.


My parents take a picture of themselves every year on their anniversary and keep them in an album. It is so fun to look through the album and see how much they have changed! Brad and I are going to do the same!


Brad and I love to try new things and set out to experience all that Springfield has to offer us in the short time we are here. This year we went to a roller derby, hit up Silver Dollar City (my parents bought us season passes!), saw the Springfield Lazers tennis team play, took part in a LifeGroup airsoft gun battle, ate at some great Springfield restaurants, made friends with the Starbucks employees, went to a Springfield Cardinals game, ate too much Chic-fil-a, found a favorite park, and saw Bob Dylan in concert for free. Still on the list to experience is The Moxie Cinema, Wild Animal Safari, and spending the day at one of the lakes nearby.


Last weekend Casie asked me how I thought I had changed in the past year. This was an intriguing question, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. I don’t feel like I have changed, but after some reflection I’ve thought of several ways I have changed, but I’ll just share one.

I thought of something I used to not care about at all, but has become a regular topic for Brad and me. I’ve typically been pretty ignorant of current events and things happening around the world. Brad introduced me to NPR and I’ve started reading the newspaper regularly. So why is the news important, anyway? Isn’t it just full of sadness? That’s what I used to think. Brad has taught me that as a Christian, it is important to be informed about what is going on around the world, and how to approach topics from a Christian world-view. As Christians, we shouldn’t ignore the hurt in the world, but ask ourselves what this means in light of the Kingdom of God and how it affects how we should live.


On a lighter note, I used to think that when I got married my house would always be picked up and clean and it would immediately be decorated according to my Pinterest board. In reality, decorating has been a slow and expensive process and I’m not exactly the housekeeper I dreamt I would be. Of course I do think maybe I’ve been set up for failure by my mom, though, whose house is always spotless and picked up. High standards.


Though my housekeeping skills have some room for improvement, I’ve made a lot of progress in the cooking department. I’ve tried to make something new at least once a week. I even did a post about some of my favorite new recipes! There have been plenty of failures, but it has been fun to make something new and have it turn out really great! Mom and I have really enjoyed swapping recipes this year.


On a similar note, you may have noticed that some couples gain a lot of weight after getting married. I can totally see how this happens! I went from being a college student whose staples were grilled cheese and cereal, to a wife that cooks full meals multiple nights a week. Brad and I were determined not to gain a lot of weight after getting married. I’m proud to say that we’ve not only kept weight off, we’re both in better shape than we’ve probably ever been. Brad is currently training for a half-marathon and I’ve finally reached a level of fitness I had wanted for a long time. Working out is one of our favorite things to do together. I’m really thankful for a husband that not only encourages me to be fit, but is my workout partner.


Brad and I were a little worried about making new friends in this new stage of life. We are no longer SBU students, but are still partially a part of that community, and we weren’t sure what that was going to look like. God was so faithful this year to bring us a great community. I’ve been fortunate to have an awesome group in the lab I work in at MSU, and SBU admissions has been the perfect place for Brad. Most importantly, our Freshwater Church LifeGroup and being a part of the core team to plant Freshwater Church Springfield has been the biggest blessing. We’ve developed some awesome friendships and we’re so excited about what God is doing and is going to do in north Springfield.

I don’t know where the Lord will lead me in the years to come. I will graduate in less than a year and I’ll be off onto a new adventure. I’m happy to know that my best friend will be joining me. Happy Anniversary, Brad. I love you.