Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What's your happiest moment?

It’s no secret that I love New York. It’s my favorite place. I don’t know what it is about that city but it draws me in like a moth to a flame…. So you can only imagine how obsessed I am with Humans of New York. This guy spends his days walking the streets of New York photographing strangers. After taking their photo he has a conversation with them and somehow manages to get them to open up about the most intimate details. He then shares the photos and their confessions on his blog.

Image Source

I’ve been following Humans of New York for several months and it’s still as interesting to me today as it was the day I first saw it.

I wish I could say that I am open-minded, that I view the people around me as equals, that I don’t judge or stereotype strangers…but the truth is: I do.

We are all human. Everyone has a story. Everyone has shame. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone deserves forgiveness. Everyone wants to be loved. Everyone deserves to be loved. The homeless man in front of Quail Springs is a human being, just like the man sitting in a high rise office at Devin Tower. Basically, HONY has opened my heart and allowed me to feel so deeply for complete strangers.

Just because someone is different than you, doesn’t make them less than you. –this is something I try hard to remember, but easily forget.

Feeling empathetic for others doesn’t come naturally to me. Humans of New York has helped with that.   

So if you’re having a bad day or feeling a little down, check out HONY. I promise it will bring a smile to your face.

I thought it might be fun to share a portrait and answer one of the questions asked on HONY.

What is your happiest moment?

Photo credit: serendipity 

I know this probably isn’t my most happy moment but it’s the first that comes to mind: My junior year of high school I auditioned for the varsity show choir. It was very competitive and I was convinced that I wasn’t going to make it (actually I didn’t even believe I deserved to make it, I doubted my talent and really truly thought it was a long shot). But I wanted it so bad. I worked so hard on my audition song and (I’m sure the other kids laughed at me) I even wore an elaborate costume that my grandmother made. The director waited until Friday to announce the team. He passed out envelopes after school, inside containing a list of students who made the cut. I was supposed to wait until I got home to open it but I couldn’t wait. I had been sick to my stomach all day, dreading the disappointment. Anyway, I opened the envelope in the parking lot at school. When I saw my name on the list I danced and screamed and threw my hands in the air. I remember other students walking to their car, looking at me like I was crazy but I didn’t care. It was such an amazing feeling. I was shocked that I made the team; I mean I couldn’t believe it. I called my dad first and that night my stepmom surprised me with a cookie cake that said “Congratulations Trojanaire!” It was pretty awesome. I think this moment sticks out because it was completely unexpected. I was blown away when I saw my name on that list.

I’d love to hear what your happiest moment was! Please tell me I’m not the only one who answers with the cliché: “making the varsity team in high school!” haha!

Happy Hump Day! 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


by Wednesday, a local OKC shop 
(only $10! yippee!)
I can't decided where to hang it but I'm thinking it would be darling in my bathroom

Coffee and netflix on a lazy Saturday morning. 

Babysitting my Kosmo, he went home yesterday :-( 

Football season is here! Chi O Family day with the siblings.

Decorating for fall. My favorite time of year. 

Working on a movie set, something to cross off the bucket list!

Bath time, he wasn't happy! 

*these matching heels are on my Christmas list! 

My hair is too thick for the crown braid so I tried to do a "half-up" crown turned out better than expected. 

Raking leaves is my least favorite thing to do, however, these pumpkin bags made it bearable. 
Also, I think of my dad every time I see them, he used them in our yard when we were kids.

A friend of mine surprised me with a load of homegrown pumpkins...
The front porch is now my happy place.
It's Kosmo's happy place too. 

Find me on Instagram @orrbrittney

Hope you are enjoying the first few days of fall! 

Friday, September 12, 2014

First Date

My Grandfather has been writing the most beautiful stories about his life. Most of them are stories I'd never heard before. I thought it might be neat to share one of them on the blog. I hope you don't mind. It's about his first date with my grandmother. I tell him this as often as I can: never stop writing. One day I hope to have a novel filled with his memories. They are so precious to me.

...So my friends, on this rainy rainy day, find a soft blanket, grab your hot cocoa and travel back to the year 1959. Enjoy! 

"Fun, fun, fun" -That’s the best description of the great times I (and my 6 pals) had for the first three years of high school. Football, basketball, track, baseball, hunting, fishing and of course, chasing girls, were our favorite extracurricular activities.

Our senior year of 1959 arrived and our priorities began to change. Suddenly we began to get more serious about the girls, gravitating away from playing the field, focusing on one girl in particular. My good pals started going steady and getting serious. There was Tony and Phyllis, Johnny and Pat, Jimmy and Marc Ann, and Keith with Janelle. All would later marry and with only one exception, remain so to this day. I can still here my mother singing: “Wedding Bells Are Breaking up That Ole Gang of Mine!”

One day Tony pulled me aside to tell me Phyllis had been told, by her best friend Kay Long, she’d like to have a date with me. Since she was only a 14-year-old ninth-grader at Madill Junior High, I’d never noticed Kay (other than the fact I had dated her older sister Nora). She and her younger sister Caroline were so close in age I didn’t even know them apart.

However, once Tony told me of her interest, I took a second look. Mature for her age, this slender, curvaceous, 5’6” beautiful blond, immediately caught my eye. She had changed considerably since the last time I saw her. I was immediately taken with her outgoing manner and sweet smiling face.

Besides her beauty, Kay was also very popular with her peers. A straight-A student, she was a member of the National Honor Society, President of the student body, a cheerleader and active in many school activities. 

There she was in plain sight and silly me, I’d never noticed.

Tony and Phyllis made it easy for me to ask her out on that first date. They suggested we go on a double-date at the drive-in movie. So the pressure was on. I was going to ask out a girl three years younger than me. Would her parents let her go? When I finally got up the nerve, she put me off until she could ask her parents. Luckily, they already knew me from the time I dated Nora. Much to my delight, the next day at lunch Kay gave me the news that her mother had given her a conditional yes. Because I was older, she could go out with me just this one time.

Dad let me drive his 1956 Olds 88. I was hoping that would impress her (besides it gave me one up on her ninth grade boy classmates who were not old enough to drive). Both Kay and Phyllis lived in the oil camps 12 miles away from our little town. It was easy to go on from their houses, which was half way in between, to the larger (and what we thought was cooler) college town of Durant. It had not one, but two, drive-in movies and better choices of hamburger drive up joints, the kind with car hops who, amazingly, took your order while you sat in your car.

It was a great first date. One I was sure would not be the last if Kay’s parents would let her go with me again. So when we met for lunch the following Monday, I decided to ask her out for Saturday night. I must have made a good impression because again they said yes.

Soon she would be wearing my senior ring along with my letter jacket. We eloped three years later and this time we didn’t ask permission. That first date was the beginning of what would be a very long and loving 50 year commitment which produced three wonderful children and 5 super grandchildren.

I could read these stories all day Poppa, such a romantic!

Happy Friday!


1569 Olds 88 image source

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dear internet,

This past week has been so hard. My aunt (my mom's sister) passed away. Her memorial service was yesterday. It was beautiful and fitting. I know she would have been thrilled to see so many people there to worship the Lord and celebrate her life.

I know she's in a better place, I know she must be so happy to be reunited with my Grammy, but it still hurts.

Not too long ago, my aunt shared this scripture on her Facebook:

"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow." James 1:2-3

For those of you who know me IRL (in real life), thank you for the calls, emails, texts & prayers. It has helped so much.

Also, to my mom's friends, 

(most of whom I've never met but she tells me that you read my blog) 

-I wan't to tell you how grateful I am that she is surrounded by such wonderful people. You are a blessing to her... always there for her when she needs it the most.  Thank you for being diligent in reaching out to her during this time. I know your kind words have brought so much comfort and I truly can't thank you enough.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Yellow House

Remember a few months ago when I mentioned the re-model taking place next door?

Well it's finally finished! 

The owners and I have actually become pretty good friends and they were kind enough to let me snap a few photos! 

Because I love a good "before & after" ...lets take a look at what it looked like 6 months ago:

Pretty scary right?

Now the after:

Isn't it darling?

It doesn't even look like the same house!

The living room is full of charm. I especially love the crown molding, it's original to the house. 

Granite counter tops & stainless appliances, swoon!

I think this hall closet (probably meant for linens) would make a great pantry!

The master bedroom is my favorite. 

Someday I'll have french doors that lead to a back patio... and there will be potted flowers and a big herb garden where I will grow rosemary and basil and cilantro and tomatoes. Amen. 

Not pictured: the amazing walk-in (cave-like) shower.

Walk-in closet...oh how I love thee. 

Oh! and I had to take a picture of the house next door. It's pretty cute too!

Our street is so charming...I really love living here!

My house is on the other side (you can see it in the picture below). 

Isn't the yellow house just adorable?

Guess what? It's for sale!

Who wants to be my neighbor?!?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Mikayla's Dorm Tour!

Well Mikayla is officially a college student! -it seems like just yesterday we were celebrating her sweet 16! 

Last weekend was spent moving her into the dorms. It was an emotional day, my poor mother was on the verge of tears for most of it (Mikayla's the last child to go off to college). I had forgotten about how small the dorm rooms are. I don't know how I survived living in such a teeny tiny space! 

Anyway, Mikayla has the most adorable dorm room! I couldn't resist taking a few photos to share with you!

Isn't that wooden monogram just darling?

This is such an exciting time for her! I hope she savors every minute of it!

Now lets all say a little prayer that my mother recovers from her empty nest syndrome! 

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

making my house a home

My living room decor  has come a long way in the last year. To refresh your memory, check out this picture I took last summer:

This is the place where I spend most of my time. It's the first room you see when you walk into my home. I want it to be cozy but also bright and cheery.

I bought this dark couch before the dawn of Pinterest, before I knew that I was head over heels in love with blue color palettes and white accents. Unfortunately, the reality for most of us is that we have to start with what we have.

So this year (my first year in the doll house) I made a goal: not to buy anything I didn't absolutely love. I took my time and really lived in the space. I only purchased items that were authentic and meaningful to me.

One of the biggest challenges in decorating my home has been finding art for the walls.

I love having meaningful art in my home. My grandmother was a beautiful water colorist (you can see a glimpse of one of her paintings in the photo above). I treasure her paintings, they bring to mind so many childhood memories.

So finding art that not only complements my grandmother's paintings but also reflects my style has been a challenge.

I recently discovered Tiny Prints home decor collection. They have a beautiful selection of wall decor and prints.

I quickly fell in love with the 10 X 10 canvas art and decided to print a couple of pictures from my 4th of July weekend at Grand Lake.

You might recognize these photos from this blog post. That weekend was so much fun, so many family memories made!

I took the photo of the American flag banner at a marine gas station. It was early in the morning, hardly any boats on the lake. These banners were on almost every lake house we passed.

I took the picture of the buoy while we were tubing. It was taken right before my turn on the tube!

I love the colors in these prints! I'm a sucker for red, white and blue...but what I love most about them is that they evoke so many memories from that wonderful weekend.

Tiny Prints has such a wide variety of options for printing your favorite memories. I especially love their new metal prints.

What about you? Do you incorporate meaningful art into your home decor?

canvas art c/o Tiny Prints