Thursday, December 16, 2010

I am still here, I promise!


I have started a new job and have spent my time off work with my loving husband and amazing friends.  You know, enjoying REAL life.  Ahem.

Anyway.  I will be back shortly with regular blogs.  I just have had to adjust a little bit to my new job.

Which I LOVE.  I am so excited to go to work every day. I love my co-workers.  I feel appreciated! I have bought about fifty thousand WKU shirts already (What? I get a discount :) ).  It's pretty much amazing.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Because It's One Week Until Thanksgiving...

I LOVE Thanksgiving.  Really, really love it.  This year, I'm helping my amazing momma cook Thanksgiving dinner, AND I'm even making some of the dishes myself.  I told her that I would gladly make the sweet potato dish.  So, I scoured the internet looking for a delicious sweet potato casserole dish.  And then, I found it! 

But, I had to make sure that it was good.  So, a group of us got together at WKU Hill House on Sunday night, and I decided to make it, you know, as a test run.  Well, let's just say it was a HUGE hit!  JD said that he wished he could eat it every. single. day. and that it won the award for the best dish I have made all year.

So, what is this recipe you ask?  Well, go here to find out!

I did make a few *teeny* changes.  I added about a teaspoon of cinnamon to the sweet potatoes as I was mixing in the other ingredients.  And, I'm not really a big fan of marshmallows on my sweet potato casseroles, so I made a crumble of a 1/4 stick of butter, 1/2 cup (or so) of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 cup of chopped pecans to put on top.  So. Good!  I promise! 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Part 3 (With Big News)!

Remember this post where I said something big was happening?

Well, wait no more, faithful blog readers (that I wish would comment more...cough cough...).  Here it is:


I'm the new office associate at the WKU ALIVE Center!  You have NO idea how excited I am! This job is everything I have wanted! Working at WKU, my alma mater? Yep! Working in something I'm very passionate about (community partnerships and volunteerism)? Yep! Getting to occasionally work with my husband? Yep! Benefits? Yep! Getting to do something that has to do with my degree? Yep!

I start the Monday after Thanksgiving and could not be more ready to start!  I can't wait!

Make sure you scroll down and read my other two posts from today!

Part 2!

My wonderful husband showed me this last night, and I just sat watching it with him, bawling my eyes out. I love my husband and life so much and this video and song are just perfect. Plus, I LOVE Andrew Peterson, Andy Gullahorn, and Ben Shive!

It just makes me so thankful for the wonderful husband and marriage I have. My favorite line is: "To the end of all my days, when I forget my name, remind me." Wow. I'm crying just listening to it right now. I'm thinking it's going to be a song that I can never listen to without crying!

Hope you enjoy. Don't forget to check out my other post from today! I'm on a roll, I tell ya!

Hold Tight...

I haven't blogged much at all lately, so I'm making up for it by blogging three times today!

My friend Shannon shared this info on her blog, so now I'm joining in and seeing if it really works! :)

Shutterfly is offering bloggers 50 FREE Christmas cards!  All you have to do is go here and then blog about it!

This is such a good deal!  JD and I just had pictures taken back in October, and I LOVE the cards they offer!  I'm very excited!  A couple of years ago, I made my own Christmas cards and last year I bought Oxfam America ones from Barnes and Noble, but I'm thinking this year, I'm going to try out Shutterfly and send out some picture cards! Plus, Shutterfly uses sustainably forested paper, so you KNOW I'm going to be all over that!

I'm trying to decide on my favorite.  So far, I have it narrowed down to these:

Will you tell me which one is your favorite?  If you haven't noticed, I'm pretty much in love with anything with bright colors or the word "peace" in it! I love all of them so much!  So, please help!!

Go here to look at all the options yourself!

Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 today!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

One of the Best Nights of My Life...

Sorry I haven't posted this week.  I have been sick and not doing anything but laying around and watching T.V..

But, I feel much better now, so I have to share with you all about my perfect Monday.  Amazing husband, Christy, Matt, and I went to Nashville and spent the day eating yummy hot dogs in East Nashville, shopping at Whole Foods and Whole Body in Hillsboro (and eating gelato at Whole Foods), and then met a couple friends at Flying Saucer before heading to the Mumford and Sons concert.  Now, if you've never heard of them, you need to go to their page RIGHT away and listen to their music.  They are phenomenal.  And, they put on the best concert I have ever been to.  Ever.  So, I thought I would post a couple videos from the concert so you can see what they are like.  But, really, the videos don't do them justice at all.

I don't think I've ever had a better, more perfect day (well, maybe my wedding day, but there's really no comparison to that).

I'm pretty sure this is what heaven will be like: uncontrollable happiness to the point of wanting to yell and cry at the same time because it's just so perfect.  At least, that's sure what I hope heaven will be like.


Dust Bowl Dance

Wagon Wheel with Old Crow Medicine Show and Cadillac Sky

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Today is kind of a big deal for me.

I'm not going to go into detail yet.  But, just think about me today. 

I'm hoping everything works out!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What We've Cooked Wednesday.

So, last night, I made the most amazing meatballs and mashed potatoes.  Ever.  And, I can brag about it because it wasn't my recipe! (Well, the mashed potatoes were, but who doesn't know how to boil potatoes, then put them in the mixer with milk, butter and salt and whip them until they're fluffy and lump-less?)  I was going to take pictures and post them, but then I realized that The Pioneer Woman already did that for it really would be redundant for me to do the same. (Okay, okay, you've got me...I forgot to take pictures until I was half-way through the process, so I came up with this excuse!)

Anyway, here's the recipe.  It's so good.  We added sriracha instead of tabasco because that's our hot sauce of choice, but I followed the rest of the recipe exactly.

Seriously.  You have to go make these.  They are so very good. 

And, then we had Mary Jane's Chocolates for dessert.  Last night was not a very healthy night, to say the least! But it was so good, I don't even care.  I'm doing Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred with Christy, so I'm working out to burn off all those calories I consumed last night! :)

Have a happy Wednesday!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Because It's Tuesday...

And because I haven't blogged in (gasp!) two weeks, I'm going to tell the few of you blog readers that have hung around to see if I was going to post, some of the things I love the most.

I love when it storms during the day.  Now, at night, I'm not a fan of storms.  At. All.  They're very scary.  But, during the day, I absolutely love when there's a huge thunderstorm (quite like today, I might add).  I especially love when it storms in the Fall because all the leaves are forced off their trees and swirl around making everything lovely and colorful.

I love when my adorable niece gives me "kisses."  Now, it's really just that she opens her mouth and leaves forward toward my face, but I love the slobbery, wet mark she leaves on my face.  I just love her. 

I love when I get to sleep for almost 12 hours on a weeknight (last night).  Yes, I did go to bed a little after 8, but I really don't care.  I feel great today!

Well, the tornado sirens are going off, telling me that it is time to wrap up my blog and head for the basement!

More tomorrow...I promise!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Weekend in Ohio

We went to visit my family in Pandora, Ohio, over the weekend.

Never heard of it?  Oh, well, I didn't expect for you to...It's a town of about 800 or so. :)  But, it's "home" to me.  It's where my grandparents live. 

I'm back home now, stuffed from my grandma's amazing food, filled to the brim with my grandfather's coffee (Really, it's the best. Ever.), supplied with local apple cider, corn-mazed out, and am missing everyone already.  My parents came up to visit, too, so it was a weekend surrounded by family, which we all need from time to time.

My fabulous aunt, Sandy, took some great pictures of JD and me, of the dogs and us, and of my whole family.  They came out really good.  So, I thought I'd post a few of my favorites for you all, my faithful blog readers, to enjoy.  Let me know which are your favorite, cause we're going to get some framed.

Man, I love my life, my family, my amazing husband, and of course, my dogs! :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It's a Very Important Day...

In the lives of my two favorite little friends.

You are a miracle.  I love you.  I'll even let you toot on me today and disrespect my pillows.  I have loved being able to see you grow up and learn and walk and talk and become this amazing little girl.  You're so beautiful!  Keep fighting!!  You've been so strong for five years, what's 100 more?? :)

Happy 6th Birthday!  You make me smile!  I don't think I've ever had such a good friend!  It makes my week every time you come and snuggle next to me and tell your mom that you'd like to live with me!  Love you!  Don't ever stop being who you are!  And, always keep your sense of style!

You're both wonderful girls!  If I have a girl one day anywhere near how amazing the two of you are, I will  be very, very lucky!

And, you both have excellent examples to live up to.  Your moms are my best friends and absolutely amazing women! 

*Side note:  Sorry, Jen and Terry that I "borrowed" your daughters' pictures from facebook.  They were so cute, I couldn't resist.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Things I Love Monday...

It's Fall.

It's October.

My house is decorated for Fall.

I have already drank so much apple cider it's not even funny.

I get to see my grandparents this weekend.

I get to go in a huge corn maze this weekend.

I wake up completely under the covers because it's cold.

It's perfect bonfire weather.

I get to wear warm socks.

I get to wear sweaters and jackets and leggings.

I got a brand new pair of boots on Saturday that I will be wearing all the time.  You know, since it's Fall.

I am reading through Harry Potter.  Again.  J.K. Rowling is an amazing storyteller.  I love her.  And Harry.

I am back to knitting hats and scarves and have finished quite a few. 

It's hat and scarf weather.

It's hard not to be happy in October.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mmm...Taco Soup. I Mean, Soup. I Mean, Taco Soup!

I finally got around to making Taco Soup last night.  Sorry about not making it Tuesday.  I ate with my in-laws instead! :)

This is so good and so filling and and so simple so healthy! (I mean, if you exclude the fact that everything comes from a can and is probably loaded with sodium, but still...)

Just wanted to say sorry, too, about the pictures.  My wonderful husband had the camera and was not home, so I was forced to use my phone. :/

Cast of Characters:  1 large can of tomato juice, 1 can of corn, 1 can of pinto beans, 1 can of red beans, 1 can of regular Rotel, 1 can of kidney beans, 1 package of taco mix, and 1 can of ranch mix.  Note:  You can substitute ground beef or turkey for of the cans of beans.  Or, you can use just regular diced tomatoes and green chiles instead of Rotel.  This recipe is very easy and very adaptable to whatever you have on hand.

Open up all the cans.

 Pour all the contents of the cans into a large stockpot or Dutch oven.  With their juices.

Pour in the large can of tomato juice.

Add the ranch and taco seasoning packages.


Cover and heat on medium-high to high until it begins to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. And, don't worry, the ranch seasoning will dissolve quickly.

Serve with Fritos and shredded cheese!

Enjoy.  It's so good.  And perfect for chilly Fall days (that is, if Fall ever hits Kentucky)!

Oh, and 5 points to whomever got that my title was a Friends reference.  High five!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


...I am making Taco Soup tonight. I am taking pictures and will blog about said Taco Soup tomorrow.

...I learned how to knit in the round and plan on making this hat as fast as my little fingers can knit.

...Speaking of knitting (We were talking about knitting, weren't we? Sorry, I lost my train of thought staring at that amazing hat), I am back to knitting hats and scarves and such for sale. Any hat (baby, kid, teen, adult) you may want in various colors and styles. And, scarves I will do for a higher price, but really, there is not much better than the feeling of a warm, hand-knit scarf around your neck when it's so cold your eyeballs feel like they're going to freeze. But, then again, I'm a little partial!

...But, for real, let me know if you want me to make anything for you! I'm up for the challenge!

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A New Kind Of Christianity

Ekklesia is beginning to go through the book A New Kind of Christianity by Brian McLaren. I was sitting here reading the first chapter, when I came across this interesting passage that I couldn't help but put on my blog:

"My disillusionment [to Christianity and the Church] was intensified by what was happening in the Christian community in America during the 1980s and 1990s. A large number of both Protestant and Catholic leaders had aligned with a neoconservative political ideology, trumpeting what they called "conservative family values," but minimizing biblical community values. They supported wars of choice, defended torture, opposed environmental protection, and seemed to care more about protecting the rich from taxes than liberating the poor from poverty or minorities from racism. They spoke against big government as if big was bag, yet they seemed to see big military and big business as inherently good. They wanted to protect unborn human life inside the womb, but didn't seem to care about born human life in slums or prisons or nations they considered enemies. They loved to paint gay people as a threat to marriage, seeming to miss the irony that heterosexual people were damaging marriage at a furious pace without any help from gay couples. The consistently relegated females to second-class status, often while covering up for their fellow males when they fell into scandal or committed criminal abuse. The interpreted the Bible to favor the government of Israel and to marginalize Palestinians, and even before September 11, 2001, I feared that through their influence Muslims were being cast as the new scapegoats, targets of a scary kind of religiously inspired bigotry.

"Their stridency and selectivity in choosing issues and priorities at first annoyed, then depressed, and then angered me. They had created a powerful, wealthy, and stealthy network dedicated to mobilizing fighters in their 'culture war.' I began referring to the new religious establishment they had created as radio-orthodoxy because it depended on radio (and TV). They had turned the way of Jesus, I felt, into the club of the Pharisees, and they didn't speak for me, even though their spokesmen dominated the dialogue night after night on cable TV. The terms 'Evangelical' and even 'Christian' had become like discredited brands through their energetic but misguided work. I increasingly understood why more and more of my friends winced when the name 'Jesus' was mentioned in public. It wasn't due to a loss of respect for Jesus, but for those who most used his name."

Hi. My name is Brittany Ryan. And, if I told you I was a Christian and it automatically made you think about ANY of the negative things listed in the first quoted paragraph, I am deeply and forever sorry. The Jesus I follow; the Jesus of the Bible is nothing like that.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What I Plan on Cooking Wednesday

I'm going to the grocery store tonight (yay!...not). Here's what I am thinking of making. And, yes, I'm going to try my hardest to take as many pictures as possible and bring back "What We're Cooking Wednesday" Fall Edition. :)

So, here's what's on the menu! If you want any of the recipes, just let me know. I'm going to try to put on where the recipes are from (more for my benefit than yours, because I want to remember where they are when I go to make them). And, yes, there are 3 soups, but it's Fall, and I feel like making soups. Sue me! :)

Taco Soup - My newly-organized recipe book (recipe given to me by one Dacia Shoemaker)
Butternut Squash Soup - My recipe book
Black Bean Chili - My recipe book (My mother-in-law's recipe...yum. I'm DEFINITELY going to blog about this one)

Creamy Polenta with Balsamic-Glazed Mushrooms - My recipe book (recipes from Sande, my co-worker, and Southern Living)

Bulghur-Mushroom Stovetop Pilaf - My recipe book (recipe originally from Better Homes and Gardens)

Spaghetti Pie - Most recent Recipe-Swap recipe

Risotto with Gorgonzola - Everyday Pasta by Giada De Laurentiis (Page 206/207)

Chicken Potpie - Cooking class recipe, in my recipe book

Swedish or Barbeque Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes - The Pioneer Woman's recipe

Pot Roast - Broadway United Methodist Church cookbook (page 52) (I have to add that I just got a brand new cast-iron casserole dish from Ikea and CANNOT wait to use it!)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies - My recipe book

Mmmm. I'm so excited to get cooking!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I'm Baaaaaack!!

What you've missed while I took my little blogging sabbatical:

  • Ekklesia went camping at my parents' house outside Dayton. We had a lot of fun and got to explore Dayton a little.
  • We went to Ikea. My friend and I made a pact to move to Europe because of said store. I fell in love. With. A. Couch. Now I just have to get John David up there to buy it!
  • This past weekend was the first weekend I have spent at home in a month. It was very nice. I like relaxing.
  • I picked out my birthday gift from my parents. It's not any of those bags I had you vote on (they weren't available at the stores we went to). Sorry. But, it's really cute. As soon as I take a picture of it, I'll post it for you to judge.
  • I have REALLY started to fall in love with Modern Family.
  • One of our great friends from high school spent some time with us (he lived in NYC). He's going to be performing on the newest Disney Cruise, and John David and I decided we're going to go on our first ever cruise this late winter/early spring.
  • My adorable, sweet niece turned 6 months old. Where in the world does time go?
  • We've decided to take a family trip to Gatlinburg with my in-laws (YAY)!!!! So excited!
  • My husband was gone for two nights last week. He presented at a workshop at CCDA (Christian Community Development Association) in Chicago. I about died (joking...). But, seriously, I don't like being away from him. He's back now. It's all good.
  • I have started organizing my recipe book. Which means, I'm going to be back in the kitchen cooking and taking pictures VERY soon.
  • My garden is done. Partly because it's getting cold. But, mostly because I have let it get overtaken by weeds and now I'm scared to walk in it because of snakes or other critters. But, we're planning on tilling it all down, then I want to plant garlic bulbs for next spring/summer.
  • We have ALMOST finished the study. Almost. We just lack a couple things. As soon as we get those things completed, I'll post pictures.
  • One of the things I look forward to most in my week is watching Project Runway and Austin and Santino with my best friends, Christy, Jen, and Dacia (when she can make it). It's so wonderful!
  • We decided to stay in our house for awhile. So, next project: painting the living room a modern gray.
  • My husband has decided he wants an old VW bug. I am not so sure. This may be one time when I put my foot down (I don't do that a lot. Promise. Just look at our new TV, his scooter, etc. for examples of where I did not put my foot down.) :)
  • I want to start Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred. Yes, I know it will be hard. I don't care.
  • It's starting to be Autumn in Kentucky. Which means, I need to switch to my Fall decorations soon. Bring on the pumpkins!
  • John David and I have started planning what to be at the Annual Kickert Halloween Bash! It's gonna be good, people!
  • I have sadly spent little time outside. That's going to change. Soon.

Ok. That's a lot of information, I know. But I didn't want you faithful blog readers to think I'd just been sitting at home eating bon-bons or something. I've been busy, people! But, I'm back.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


A quote by Pete Rollins in his book How (Not) to Speak of God with parentheticals added by Terry Shoemaker:

"For too long the Church has been seen as an oasis in the desert - offering water to those who are thirsty. In contrast, the (Ekklesia) community appears more as a desert in the oasis of life, offering silence (on doctrinal issues), space (to create and freely think) and desolation (crumbled cornerstone of Jesus) amidst the sickly nourishment of Western capitalism. It is in this desert, as we wander together as nomads, that God is to be found. For it is here that we are nourished by our hunger."

Yep. Pretty much sums us up.

Love you all so much.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Sorry that I haven't written in the past few days.

We found out Tuesday evening that a close family friend died in a car accident on Monday night. And, you know what? I haven't felt like blogging. Somehow writing about purses, clothes, cooking and gardening just seems kind of trite and overrated right now when my friends are in so much grief.

It makes me think about when I was 16 and one of my close friends died. Too many memories.

That's it.

Oh, and I'll be gone for the weekend, so don't expect any more blogs this week.

Maybe I'll start again next week. Maybe. Don't know.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


For my birthday, my mom told me to pick out something that I really wanted. So, of course, I decided that I want a handbag. She got me an amazing yellow Cole Haan bag last year (see a pattern?), but it's now time to retire it (since I've been carrying it for a year!) and get a new one. The only problem is, I don't know which one I want. So, I thought I would put the pictures up of the four that I like and have you all vote on your favorite.

1) Cole Haan Gramercy Taylor Drawstring

2) Michael Kors Soft Stamped Croc Large Satchel

3) Michael Kors Gansevoort Large Shoulder

4) MICHAEL Michael Kors Astor Pasadena

The polls are now open...