Thinking Minimal

Over the last few months Brig and I have been studying up on the idea of “minimalism“. We’ve been dapping in it here and there, but I think we’re ready to take a more serious dip. The theory that less is more and more is distracting from life is something that I’ve never really thought about until the last year. We’ve been extremely blessed, so blessed that we literally have everything we need and everything we want. But the interesting thing that I’ve taken note of is this:

our happiness has nothing to do with what we have.

Seriously! Our happiest memories consist of our time spent together, with just each other, with friends, and with family. I can’t even think of a memory that was centered on a thing, like, I can’t say that our movie watching nights were better because we had surround sound. No, our movie nights are awesome because we pick movies that are interesting! And our memory wouldn’t be dampened because of where the sounds was coming from. Or, our family is not closer together because we have the newest Apple products (which we don’t). In fact, our stuff is getting dated, and we don’t even notice!

I think the only object that has enhanced our memories is a camera. And that is because it freezes those moments in time, to be remembered in full color.

I guess what I’ve been noticing is that we don’t need the objects that we want to be happy, we need those moments, those experiences that bring us together, make us ponder, strengthen our friendships and faith and family. We NEED those things above all else!

I think a life of simplicity will be liberating. I feel like it will bring freedom in so many ways: freedom from financial burdens, freedom from mental stress over messes, disorganization or clutter, freedom from time-wasting appliances. Instead I think it will bring a feeling of peace and contentment, the ability to focus on family, health, relationships, and experiences. I’m so excited to be fully on board. I know that this process will be a journey, and one of great discovery! It will be interesting to see what we decide to keep and throw away- what do we value the most? What brings beauty into our home? What is distracting? What is useless to us? I think it will reveal a lot about us, who we really are and what we deem valuable.

And the big question is: After all is said and done, what will we do with our new-found freedom?

Miss Molly

This little fur-baby has made our home more home-y, and certainly never lonely! We were pining for a puppy, and we allowed ourselves to go “look” at a litter. Well, you know what that means- we brought home Miss Molly!

Isn’t she adorable? Because she is. And she’s naughty. And cute.

We love her ‚̧

She thinks she’s big and tough:

And she’s super cute when she’s sleepy:

And she knows how to take a bite (after much crying and howling of course ūüôā )

We love this little Miss- she is so much fun! And since we don’t have babies to adore over, be sure you’ll be seeing lots of our puppies! (Wait, puppies??)

With puppy-love,

Brig and Tiff

Our Sisters are Engaged!

Both of our baby sisters are engaged! We are so excited for them to do the marriage thing, Brig and I happend to know that it is the bee-zy!

Here are our lovely girls:

~Miss Mally (with Sir KayCee)~

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~Miss Sarah (with Sir Peter)~

Sarah

(Both photos from OUR wedding!)

Well dearest girls, I (Tiff speaking) am so happy for you! The engagement period is the worst, and if you can get out of it still adoring each other- you’ll know it’s right!

You know, this being a team/marriage thing is awesome, and it’s work, and it’s awesome. I’ve been thinking of all the things that I love about being married to Brig (which is pretty much everything, but specifics are always nice to point out!) and all of the information or observations I’ve gleaned that have helped me to prepare to be a wife- which you will be soon!- and I thought that I’d just outline a few things that have made me feel prepared and have made mine and Brig’s relationship wonderful.

First of all, READ THIS BOOK:

It changed my life and the way I view relationships in general. I have not always been the¬†biggest fan of the marriage concept, but it’s because I didn’t understand the things that mattered in marriage. I had just looked at it as some sort of obligation or religous pressure or a way to not be lonely (and all of this because I simply couldn’t find my¬†perfect man! And when I did- boy did I soften up quickly!). However, marriage is not any of those things!¬†None of them!

Instead, marriage is a friendship, a team, a partnership, an intimate companionship, a closeness, and a safe haven.

Mr. Gottman’s book helped me to see that, and helped me to understand what kind of actions strengthen that friendship or break it down. Even if you have a good attitude about marriage and always have had one, it’s still about helping you to figure out how to be the best kind of friend, and avoid things that will hurt your most precious relationship.

Seriously. Do it.

Next, here is the best bit of advice I feel Brig and I have ever gotten:

~ Always defend your companion, and never take anyone else’s side (even if they’re wrong, it doesn’t matter)

~ Always present yourself as a unified front

~ Never talk bad about your companion, ever. To anyone.

~ Put your companion first in your life- before your goals, your hobbies, your extended family, your gym membership- whatever!

~ Care about the things the other cares about.

~Be eager to forgive and forget

~ Never lie to your companion, not about sex, not about food preferences, not about what you spent your money on, not anything! There are no secrets in this friendship

~ And on that note- be open and honest! Be tactful if that honesty isn’t something that the other is excited to hear about, but never keep a secret. Secrets will put wedges in your trust, which is the foundation of your relationship.

~Always greet with a kiss and a hug and a big smile- they are the best thing that will ever happen to you, so treat them that way!

And here are some things that Brig and I do to strengthen our friendship:

~Support the other in their interests and desires

~ Allow daydreaming! Then, be practical and prudent in your timing of acting/puchasing. Balance each other out!

~ Do things together! Go on walks, go to random classes, learn somethign together, watch movies, exercise, eat healthy, cook together. Whatever you do- include the other!

~ Never put the pressure on the other to be perfect or ideal. That’s just impractical! Make mistakes! Learn from them together!

~ Always express love. When you say it, mean it. Every time.

I have so much more to say and tell you (and you will find things to tell me! How cool is that?!) but I will stop here, and I hope we will get time to discuss more of these types of things.

Ladies, there is nothing more important in this life than loving and supporting your future husband (and vice-versa for him!)- so put the work into the relationship- not into panning your wedding or bridal showers. Those things don’t matter.

What matters is your team. Your friendship. Your intimate companionship.

I love you both dearly. Welcome to the best part of life!

With excited, Sisterly-Love,

Tiff

Bellator

Husband and I went to the Bellator MMA fight! We were hooked up by a good friend with legit front-row, “splash zone” seats!

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So, we literally sat cage-side and watched these huge, massive, muscle-y fighters roll in.

Then we watched the battle it out.

Literally.

We were on Spike TV (because we were constantly right in front of where the cameras were), we had too many nachos, we yelled and cheered, and had a really awesome time!

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Even though we didn’t really know any of the fighters (well I certainly didn’t anyway!) it was fun to pick a fighter to cheer for each round. Before the fighter would come out, the annoucers did a small Bio-Pic on them. There were seemingly decent guys, and definitely some guys whose egos almost didn’t fit in the arena.

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It was just as interesting to people-watch as it was to watch the fights!

There were lots of our military friends there- and it was wierd for me to see some of them out of uniform! There were big tough guys, local fighters, moms and dads with their kids, girls trying to compete with the ring girls, people like me who were clearly novices at this whole MMA thing…

It was awesome. Super different, and oddly eclectic.

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All in all, it was most fun for me to get to participate in something that Brig gets all excited about!

I don’t think I would ever seek out some of the stuff he’s introduced me to,

and each time it’s so much fun!

Sharing our interests, no matter how odd they are to the other, has been totally enlightening and has brought us so much closer together. We have so much fun doing all sorts of new, fun, strange, awesome things!

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My overall analysis of the event was this:

There are some fighters who clearly understand and use correct techniques while others use their brute strength. It’s interesting that the fighters who are clearly stronger don’t always win. I liked that there was an actual method to the madness- the right places to hit, the right way to throw, the right way to jab or recover from a pin or punch. It was actualy really awesome! However, I couldn’t imagine myself ever doing something like that! Purposefully knocking someone out for sport? Yikes! I’ll leave that to the boys this time.

What a fun date night for us! It was seriously a once-in-a-lifetime thing!

Thanks to our friends who helped us snag some tickets! We love you!