Friday, September 27, 2013

Recent Movie Watching

Levi and I have a movie problem. We LOVE movies/stories/tv shows/books. Well, mainly I love books. But in general, we love a well developed story with interesting characters! We tend to wait and see most movies on Blue Ray though because we are theater snobs and cannot stand talking while watching a movie. Unless Alamo Drafthouse is showing it, we probably won't see it in theater. Most of our viewing is done through Netflix and Hastings. Although I'm pretty sure we've watched every single decent horror movie on Netflix already. Here are a few new releases from last week that I watched!

The Bling Ring

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Overall Thought: Perfect casting, perfect portrayal of the lifestyle and ridiculously amazing film work.

I am fascinated by stories like this, so as soon as I saw they were making a movie out of it I knew I would see it and probably love it. I remember when the Hollywood burglaries were happening, I watched multiple Datelines after the arrest, and even watched the reality show "Pretty Wild" via Netflix which centers around Alexis Neiers. After watching the 8 episodes of their show, I can say this casting was SPOT ON. The acting, the voices, the looks. It was actually weird how good it was. Leslie Mann sounds EXACTLY like Alexis's mom. My one flaw with the movie was that I had hoped it would focus more on Alexis and Tess' characters (Nikki and Sam in the movie). They have such an interesting relationship and I was hoping to see these actresses dive into that more! It felt like the main focus though was on the characters Marc and Rebecca. Which really that makes sense because they are sort of the ring leaders in all of this anyways. I won't give any spoilers, but I will say regardless of how much you know about it already it's still interesting to watch in movie form! The filming of this movie is IN.CRED.I.BLE. Sofia Coppola was the writer and director. She is also behind The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation. It's just beautiful to watch, the coloring is vibrant and perfect, the shots are so well done. I want to watch it again right now.

The East

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Overall Thought: Kept me entertained for 116 minutes, but probably not a movie I would want to see over and over.

What I loved about this movie is that it was so much better than I even expected. I try to go in with pretty low expectations on movies like this, but this one turned out much better than predicted! Levi and I will watch anything that is even remotely centered around a cult or some undercover suspicious activity. The main idea of this movie is that an undercover "agent-ish" type person is following an underground movement called The East. The East is trying to expose environmental errors made by big businesses. They also do a lot of weird culty type behavior at their lair. It has a great ending, which I always worry about. But I felt like we got full resolution with the characters. I would recommend it!

Honorable Mention:

Insidious 2
My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Overall Thought: Just stick with the first one :( The first Insidious is one of my favorite scary movies EVER. But this sequel seemed like almost the exact same movie, but cheesier. I felt like they just tried to use all the same tricks, only adding in a few new ideas and even then, the result was often cheesy. Don't see it. (Although, Levi LOVED it. So I do have to include that).

Any movie recommendations?

- Bethany

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Leopard is my new color

I created a new outfit from my closet this Sunday and I just LOVE it. This year I have found myself gravitating more and more towards black, grey, cognac, army green and cream. I still love my pops of color, but for me this is my everyday wear. It's easy to create new looks from your closet when everything goes together already! And yes, before you notice- I did change shoes. Funny story, my parents were in town this weekend and we left early for church on Sunday. We had time to kill so we swung by Target, which is where both my mom and I picked up these leopard flats! They ended up being just what my outfit was missing. I think from now on leopard is going to be my pop of color ;) 

Vest: JcPenney (last year), Pants: Target (new), Shoes: Target (new)

Also, if you happen to be hyper observant, you'll notice I moved my hair to a middle part! I actually LOVE it, even though I feel like I haven't been able to pull it off in years. I think the key is to curl my hair and style it kind of bohemian-esque. I'm not wearing it with a middle part every day but it's nice to have another option of something to do with my hair!

- Bethany

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hound Dog Problems

A constant look that makes you feel guilty when you've done nothing wrong...:

Making it look like you abuse her:

(it's the droopy eyes that cause all the problems)

Ok this one isn't really a problem because I love lazy dogs:

And then just for fun, coonhounds are very good at enduring:

We rescued Mosely in July of 2012 and she has been such an amazing pet! She's a wild one, with more gas than any dog should ever have, but we love her! Rescue dogs are the best!

- Bethany

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Last River Weekend

Saturday started with a donut from my favorite bakery, 2tarts, in New Braunfels! My parents came to town this weekend and we had a VERY full weekend! We shopped in New Braunfels all morning, then had lunch at the Gristmill in Gruene, Tx. I scored this amazing dresser for our guest bedroom and a potted plant from the girls at The Invention of Living. I'll be doing a separate post with before and afters of that furniture redo with the dresser!

The rest of the afternoon was spent at our new favorite river spot! We have two secret spots in Martindale that we frequent during the summer. Mosely is obsessed with water. Think of the most water loving dog you've ever seen and then multiply that by 1000 and you have Mosely. She ran non stop chasing splashes and dragonflies for 2 hours!

Let's just be real. Below is what 99% of the pictures looked like trying to get Mosely to sit still.

Goodbye Summer, and hopefully we'll see you soon Fall!

- Bethany

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A rainbow and a Riggy

Saturday Levi and I were gone all day long for a training class called Gospel Fluency. We are each taking a 9 month theology development course through the Austin Stone Institute this fall and spring and this Saturday was the kick off! It was such an amazing day of teaching, I will definitely be sharing more from this program as it continues!

The hill country has been having some weird weather happenings over the past few days, which resulted in one beautiful evening on Saturday (and last night's!!! Did yall see that sky??). As we drove back into Martindale a huge double rainbow was arching over the crop fields! We didn't have our good camera but Levi was able to snap this with his iphone:

Once we got back to our house, the second rainbow disappeared but the first one remained strong! It was perfectly arching over our house! So what would anyone do? Grab their cat and take some pictures in the rainbow!

- Bethany

Monday, September 9, 2013

Some Take Aways from Sacred Marriage | Books

Disclaimer: If I come off sounding preachy, I apologize, this is a topic that Fires.Me.Up. I am by no means an expert on marriage AT ALL, but it is something I have spent a fair amount of time investing in, reading about, learning in, and counseling in. Here are my thoughts.

So marriage is kind of a HUGE decision, right? Not something you want to go into lightly. I think this is something our generation is, for the most part, beginning to grasp. We are a product of the 80s, a time when the statistic was 50% of marriages ending in divorce. Contrary to what you might think, divorce rates have actually lowered to 40% according to the CDC. Now, although we are beginning to understand the importance of this commitment, I still don't think we necessarily know what to do with it from there.

Like, ok, marriage is hard. I don't want to be like my parents, I don't want divorce, etc. But what are the tools you are learning to ensure that all of those things don't happen? Because, as someone who has been married for a little over 3 years, sheer will power is not enough to get you through. 

For me, it all begins with an initial lack of understanding on what marriage is. And I think that's a lot of people's issues with it. You get a few years in and think, "What the crap? I didn't ask for this!". And maybe you didn't, but it's what you committed to. As a preface, before I get into all of my thoughts and things I've studied about marriage, let me just say that I am talking about holy matrimony. I'm talking about a commitment made between 3 people (you, your spouse, and God). If you aren't entering into marriage this way, then marriage is just a legal term. And that's ok! But it's not the same thing as my marriage. 

"What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?"


Why is this something that I never thought about before I got married? Why is marriage not presented as the ultimate spiritual discipline? The ultimate route to being sanctified and becoming more like the person that Jesus is? I feel like the church, my elder community, my mentors, my examples all failed me. They failed to tell me the true meaning of marriage. And it's ok, because I think most of us don't know, or don't realize just how serious God's intent is for marriage. I didn't. And just to clarify, I believe marriage is meant to be an exact representation of Christ's relationship with the church (us). He will never leave or forsake us no matter WHAT. Literally, like EVER EVER, he will never leave us. And this is what marriage is supposed to represent. 

"Some of us ask too much of marriage. We want to get the largest portion of our life's fulfillment from our relationship with our spouse. That's asking too much. Yes, without a doubt there should me moments of happiness, meaning, and a general sense of fulfillment. But my wife can't be God, and I was created with a spirit that craves God. Anything less than God, and I'd feel an ache."pg26

The times when I'm most unsatisfied in my marriage are the times that I'm looking to Levi to be my EVERYTHING. Could you imagine the pressure of needing to be everything for someone? It's impossible and it's not something you should expect from your spouse. 

"Much of our marital dissatisfaction stems in actuality from self-hatred. We don't like what we've done or become; we've let selfish and sinful attitudes poison our thoughts and lead us into shameful behaviors, and suddenly all we want is out.
The mature response, however, is not to leave; it's to change ourselves."pg101

Why do we think we are so perfect? We aren't. We all come from a past filled with different stories and influences. Can we really expect that our way was right and their way was wrong? What kind of life would it be to never change and grow, especially for a reason as big as saving your marriage?

"We die to our expectations, our demands, our fears. We rise to compromise, service, and courage."

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
"Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."

This is the spirit I want to have in my marriage. This is my prayer for myself and it's a command from a loving God, who knows best for me. I have only scraped the surface of what this book, Sacred Marriage, entails. God used this book to radically change my view of my marriage, and I'm so thankful for it. If you want to know what Jesus intended for marriage, start here. I highly suggest reading it before marriage, it's easier to start with the right habits and ideas than to make the shift once you are already in deep. But for those of you that are struggling in your marriage, whether it be dissatisfaction, unhappiness, unfulfillment, abuse, betrayal, fears, doubt, confusion....I suggest diving in right now. Don't hesitate, there's hope! And you know what? Even if everything is fine and dandy in your marriage, it still might not be the picture that Jesus was looking to represent. Take time to learn what a true, sacred marriage looks like.

Thanks for listening :)
- Bethany

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A new coffee table!

At the beginning of July Levi and I purchased a new couch, a sectional to be exact! We have been searching for a corresponding coffee table ever since with NO luck. I swear, I have gone to every store that sells furniture in a 50 mile radius around here with no success, until yesterday! We stopped by World Market in Austin and came across this beauty!

You know, I never thought I had a very unique or different style of decorating but you would not believe how hard it is to find light colored furniture! If it's not Pottery Barn or some ritzy shabby chic place, chances are we won't find our style at a regular furniture place. And obvi I can't afford PB! I'm so glad we finally found an affordable piece to complete the living room!

My favorite places to shop for home decor and furniture are Homegoods, Target, Marshalls, Kirklands, Hobby Lobby, Ikea and Joss and Main. Do any of yall have any different recommendations? I'd love to hear it!

- Bethany

Monday, September 2, 2013

3 day weekends are my favorite

Levi has been super sick since late last week so I had a lot of girl time this weekend, along with lots of hours on the couch vegging with Levi.

Friday we had our friends and clients over for a viewing party of their wedding pictures! It was a lot of fun and I created an epic cheese board for dinner:

The key to a good cheese tray? WINE! Jk jk, sort of. I love having a good mixture of tart and sweet, crunchy and soft, so that's why I like to have green apples and honey which pairs perfectly with creamy brie! I never really ate 'fancy' cheese growing up so Levi and I love having wine and cheese nights to try new kinds. The pink one above is from HEB and it's a wine infused cheese. Yes Please. 

Saturday we both slept in and then I went to Austin to meet up with two of my freshman year roommates for lunch! I hadn't seen Kate probably SINCE freshman year. Sarah and I have been friends since like first grade though so we keep in touch. We took a picture while we were together but mine was no good, so you'll have to check out Sarah's recap this week! We ate at Guero's on South Congress in Austin, which I hadn't been to in years! Still as good (and crowded) as I remember :)

That evening I came back to San Marcos and had breakfast for dinner with my friends Cattie and Alix. It actually sparked this intense craving for breakfast all of the time and I've already have waffles and bacon twice since Saturday! It has been SO good to finally have a close friend in San Marcos. Because I work from home, and we go to church in Austin, most of our community of friends is in Austin. We are there about 3 times a week, if not more! It's been tough not having someone close by that you can get together with on a whim.

Anyways, this post is getting a little long by now. Let's skip Sunday (ALTHOUGH, OMG BREAKING BAD o.O).

Labor day was today and we spent it, once again, sleeping in, having a serious breakfast (sausage! waffles! bacon! syrup!), and then going to the river with our friends Wes and Sarah. After that we headed off for a bbq at our neighbors house (also known as the in laws ;)). 

This duck toy made it's first and last voyage to the river today. RIP.

After loading up on bbq, we came back home and Riggins claimed his favorite sleeping spot once again. We are getting ready for a night in, marathoning the last few episodes left of Justified!

We live with our very own Grumpy Cat and it's the best thing ever.

- Bethany